FREE PUBLICITY! If  you are involved in music-making, we are  privileged to offer a free publicity service to our local community with concert previews and reviews with weekly columns in printed publications such as the Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette and a monthly page in Essex Life. We also offer regularly contributions to websites such as Colchester 101.

If you have a concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

In 2004 Helen Vollam broke the glass ceiling when she became the first woman to be appointed Principal Trombone in a London orchestra, and the first in a UK orchestra since Maisie Ringham of the Halle Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli from 1945-55. Helen remains in this prestigious principal post in the BBC Symphony Orchestra.  Colchester audiences will have the pleasure of hearing Helen as soloist in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Trombone Concerto on Saturday June 9. Originally scored for solo trombone and military band, the work has a wonderfully lyrical second movement, while the outer movements show the trombone’s technical possibilities. It is a short work, 10 or so minutes and it is thought that the work was written while Rimsky-Korsakov was serving as a naval officer and appointed as an ‘Inspector of Military Bands’.

Other Russian musical delights crammed into the same concert include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.6 Pathetique and Khachaturian’s Spartacus Suite No.2, made famous as the theme to the 1970s and 80s TV programme “The Onedin Line”.

The Colchester Symphony Orchestra, led by Philippa Barton and conducted by Chris Phelps plays on Saturday June 9 at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.Tickets: £15 (01206 271128)

The next day, Chris will be conducting the Hadleigh Choral Society in its Summer concert, Land of Hope and Glory at 6.30pm in the  United  Reformed Church, The Market Place, Hadleigh, IP7 5DL.

Tickets: £10 (01473 827888)

Next month the leader of the Colchester Symphony Orchestra will be the soloist with the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra in Finzi’s Introit and Saint-Saens’ Havanaise. This concert also includes Butterworth’s beautiful Banks of Green Willow and Saint-Saens’ Symphony No.2.

Sunday July 1 at 5pm in St Peter’s Church, Sudbury.  Ticket availability email tickets@sudburysymphonyorchestra.com

Here is your chance to meander around the gardens at Moverons Farm accompanied by music from 16th century to present day performed by the Colchester Chamber Choir. Landscape gardener and choir member Lesley Gunfield is opening her gardens at her Farm in Brightlingsea for the choir’s next musical adventure tomorrow afternoon. The gardens are full of flowers and shrubs, walled gardens, woodland, ponds and sculptures overlooking the Colne Estuary. Tickets: £12.50 including an afternoon tea and garden walks.

Saturday June 8 at 3pm. www.colchesterchamberchoir.org or (01206 820813)

Last month the Suffolk Villages Festival offered a rare performance of John Eccles’ opera Semele. This month it offers its second Musical Tea Party with English 17th century music provided by the John Jenkins Consort accompanying a lavish tea with a glass of prosecco. Tickets: £20 including a tea and musical accompaniment.

Sunday June 17 at 3.30pm in the Assembly Rooms, Dedham. www.suffolkvillagesfestival.com

Maldon is especially famous for its salt, being the home of the last remaining Thames Barges and the Maldon Mud Race. The annual Maldon Music Festival is also now becoming a notable feature and this year is from 23 June until 7 July. It opens with a family concert performed by local children and the choir of St Mary’s Church to include Joseph Horovitz’s light-hearted and engaging version of the story of Noah’s Ark, Captain Noah’s Floating Zoo.

Christopher Weston and Alisdair Hogarth return to the festival to perform the original piano duet of Stravinsky’s famous ballet The Rite of Spring and Holst’s original version of his most famous work, The Planets.

Full festival details are available from Maldon Tourist Information Office (01621 856503) or www.maldonfestival.org.uk

SOUNDS OF ESSEX: Youth Music & Wellbeing Festival A FREE EVENT FOR ALL! It takes place on Saturday 30 June from 10am to 6pm in Central Park, Chelmsford, Essex ending with a concert in Chelmsford Cathedral from 7-8pm. This event is a collaboration between Essex Music Education Hub, Essex Youth Service and Young Essex Assembly.

The aim of the Festival is to showcase and celebrate young music-making from around Essex including Orchestras, jazz, Choirs, world music, singer-songwriters and rock bands. The free activities for all ages that have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing: rides, photobooths, caricature artists, climbing wall, graffiti sessions and much more.

The Festival ends with a concert at 7pm of Phil Toms oratorio, Island with Essex school choirs and our orchestras.

Click here to hear more about Island’s premier performance in Ely Cathedral www.myislandhome.co.uk


#SoundsofEssex was launched in 2017 as a two-day festival organised by Essex Music Education Hub, to celebrate young people’s musical learning across Essex, and to mark the 60th year of the music services. Following the success of this festival, we decided to run is again in 2018, this time with the support of Essex Youth Service and Essex Young Assembly.

Sounds of Essex is open to all young people to engage with music, and will feature a range of performances and free workshops that anyone can participate in as well as fun free activities focused around positive mental-health and wellbeing. Click on the video below to view the show reel from last year’s festival which featured special commissions, our world record attempt and a host of young performers from across the county.

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics & Classical Music columnist






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