Ipswich: Ipswich School Festival of Music line-up revealed

The British Paraorchestra will play at this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music. Picture: Les Wi

The British Paraorchestra will play at this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music. Picture: Les Wilson - Credit: LES WILSON

London 2012 Paralympics sensations The British Paraorchestra are opening this year’s Ipswich School Festival of Music.

The line-up for the fourth festival, sponsored by Seven Telematics, was unveiled at a launch featuring a performance from world renowned left-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy, who spent the afternoon with pupils from Ipswich Preparatory School.

Also on the bill this autumn are a cappela octet VOCES8, pianist Joanna MacGregor, organist Nicholas Freestone and the Gainsborough Quartet who will play at the popular Sunday afternoon tea concert.

Jazz Night returns with the Joe Stilgoe Trio and the festival will close with its traditional Big Band Bonanza, featuring the Ipswich School Big Band and the Ipswich Musicians’ Union Big Band.

After last year’s sell-out concert there will be a matinee performance of the Family Orchestral Concert and an early evening one on the Saturday, with the Zootube Orchestra playing Prokoviev’s Peter and the Wolf and a specially commissioned new piece by Ben Parry and Garth Bardsley.

There is also a lunchtime concert featuring Britten’s Sinfonietta and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll.

Youngsters will get the chance to learn from some of the world’s top musicians as part of this year’s education programme, sponsored by Prettys Solicitors.

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There will be a percussion workshop with George Double, a Trinity examiner who has played jazz at Ronnie Scott’s; a piano masterclass with Macgregor, head of keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music and a day of workshops and performances for Ipswich schoolchildren by VOCES8.

“We are delighted to be welcoming another great line-up of top musicians to Ipswich this year, with a number of our most popular events returning with new musicians and music,” said the festival’s artistic director Andrew Leach.

“There’s a special early bird reduction of 10% on tickets bought before the beginning of July and I would encourage people to book their tickets now, ready for some memorable concerts in the autumn.”

The festival runs from September 26-October 2. Tickets are available from May 1. For more information visit www.ipswichschoolfestival.org.uk