Our first event took place on Saturday and was a resounding success! 180 singers from around the region and far beyond gathered in Beverley Minster to spend the day rehearsing Fauré's Requiem, under the baton of Ashley Grote. The Minster was packed for the performance and in total the day raised well over £2,000 for the Alan Spedding Memorial Fund, creating bursaries for talented teenagers to attend the life-changing summer schools of Oundle For Organists. The day was a wonderful memorial to Alan Spedding, and a great celebration of signing and song - an amazing launch for New Paths. Have a look at our picture montage here, which gives a sense of the incredible buzz of the day!
We now look forward with excitement to our main festival, in a little over a month. Having been captivated by Katherine Crompton and Edward Grint's stunning song singing on Saturday, we know our audiences will be inspired to explore the concerts featuring song in April. Song has been enjoying a remarkable renaissance in the UK over the last decade, with festivals such as Oxford Lieder and Leeds Lieder flourishing. We are thrilled to be putting Beverley on that map, with such celebrated song singers as Anna Huntley and Marcus Farnsworth visiting the town. From the ravishing beauty of Schumann's Dichterliebe, to the suave charm of Hahn and Fauré, the war-torn tragedy of Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad to the radiance of Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte, song is a mainstay of New Paths.
We were also treated to the first-class organ playing of Tim Harper on Saturday, and this sets up the dazzling organ strand of the festival. Our full-page spread in the latest edition of Organists' Review reveals the top quality of our organ events. Simon Johnson (Organist at St Paul's Cathedral) and Richard Pinel (Assistant Organist at St George's, Windsor Castle) will each be giving organ recitals on the Minster's fine organ, and will be leading a showcase of the mighty Hull City Hall organ. They will be joined by three outstanding organ students all with connections to Beverley or the Alan Spedding Memorial Fund. This really will be an organ extravaganza.
Remember, the festival also contains children's events, barbershop, opera, chamber music, compline, talks and masterclasses.... Have a browse through and book your tickets now from the East Riding Theatre.
It was a joy to meet so many of you on Saturday and we cannot wait for April.
With all best wishes,
Roland and Libby