Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for August 2017



This month offers more opportunities to explore Classical Music through the BBC Proms with a diverse season of live concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, on BBC TV and BBC Radio 3. With your appetite now whetted for Classical Music, feast your ears and eyes on just a few of the concerts in our musically rich region.

If, like me, you thoroughly enjoyed the Film Music of John Williams at the BBC Proms on July 20, here is your chance to hear some of these iconic film scores again. On September 9 the Colchester Symphony Orchestra under its strong and stable conductor Chris Phelps, kickstarts its 2017/2018 season with some well-known movie music such as Star Wars and Schindler’s List by John Williams, Walton’s Spitfire Prelude & Fugue, Shostakovich’s The Gadfly and much other popular movie music.

This concert is on Saturday September 9 at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester and tickets are already available (01206 271128)

If you have ever fancied getting up close and personal with Colchester’s magnificent Moot Hall organ and would like the chance to pull out all of the stops, then read on!

First up, tomorrow (Tuesday August 1) the Borough Organist, Ian Ray, will show you how to play the Edwardian organ in a lunchtime recital with music by J S Bach, Vivaldi and Richard Strauss. Ian will be joined by the Seckford Brass Ensemble, led by John Jermy (recently heard as the trumpet soloist with the Colchester Symphony Orchestra). Tuesday August 1 at 1pm in Colchester’s Town Hall.

Free concert with a Retiring collection. Further details (01206 272908).

The Moot Hall’s majestic organ was first installed in 1902 and the Heritage Lottery Fund-sponsored restoration was completed in 2015. On this year’s Heritage Open Day you have the chance to pull-out all the stops in a Meet (and Play) the Organ from 12 – 2pm on Sunday 10 September.

More information coming soon!

With recent reports continuing to extol the beneficial effects of singing in choirs, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce a day of singing, exercise, socialising and learning some new music

Last month I had the privilege of featuring Colchester’s Roman River Summer Music Festival in the beautiful setting of St Peter ad Vincula in Coggeshall. This month I would like to highlight an opportunity for all our many local choral singers to treat themselves to work with the young conductor Ben Vonberg-Clark in a varied programme from the all-time choral favourite, Handel’s Zadok the Priest through to new repertoire by Eric Whitacre. The choral works will be accompanied by an orchestra and be part of the Roman River Festival Finale concert on Sunday 1 October.

For further information click or email

If you can’t get to the above singing day, other opportunities are available! It may interest you to know that The Telegraph has recently been quoted as saying Choir practice is healthier than yoga”After the summer break many choirs and choral societies open their rehearsal doors to new members, so don’t miss your chance to improve your well-being by singing and socialising in your local choir.

A good source of information is and

Next month the Roman River Music Autumn Festival brings music to the heart of Colchester. Outstanding international classical musicians returning to the Festival include pianist Benjamin Grosvenor who will play at All Saints’ Church in Fordham on Saturday 23 September and Natalie Clein will give a cello recital including compositions by woman composers in the Colchester Arts Centre on September 17. Another Festival highlight for me is The King’s Singers making their festival debut on 28 September in Stoke by Nayland Church.

For full information please visit

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

Start your love affair with Classical Music at and take a minute to watch their company video: 

Liz Leatherdale