Parachute Regiment Big Band among this October’s Ipswich School Festival of Music line-up

The Band of the Parachute Regiment are among those taking part in this year's Ipswich School Festiva

The Band of the Parachute Regiment are among those taking part in this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music, which runs October 12-17. Photo: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC - Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC

The Parachute Regiment Big Band will drop by this year’s Ipswich School Festival of Music.

The Band of the Parachute Regiment are among those taking part in this year's Ipswich School Festiva

The Band of the Parachute Regiment are among those taking part in this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music, which runs October 12-17. Photo: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC - Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC

Now in its eighth year, some of the country’s top professional musicians will perform from October 12-17.

The Parachute Regiment Band will stage a march past during the first day for Ipswich School pupils, as well as running a workshop for the school’s Big Band musicians before joining them on stage for the festival finale.

Opening the Seven Telematics sponsored showcase are The London Mozart Players. Founded in 1949 as the UK’s first chamber orchestra, they are internationally renowned for their live performances and recordings of the core classical repertoire.

The line-up, announced earlier this evening, also includes the National Youth Choir Fellowship Octet, who will be joined on stage by the Ipswich School Chapel Choir and the Prep School Chamber Choir.

The Band of the Parachute Regiment are among those taking part in this year's Ipswich School Festiva

The Band of the Parachute Regiment are among those taking part in this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music, which runs October 12-17. Photo: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC - Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC

The popular Jazz Night features the Chris Ingham Trio and jazz saxophonist Alan Barnes.

This year also sees the welcome return of the Sunday Afternoon Tea Concert. Award-winning left-hand alone pianist Nicholas McCarthy will perform tracks from his debut album, Solo, while audiences enjoy tea and cakes.

Sion Parry, Ipswich School’s director of music and the festival’s artistic director, said: “I’m delighted we have another great line-up. We hope it will entertain audiences and inspire young musicians with a diverse range of musical styles and passionate performances.”


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Nicholas Weaver, headmaster of Ipswich School, said having a diverse programme was important. Celebrating such a mix helped pupils understand that those leading music at the school had as wide a range of interests as them. Having musicians come into the school also inspired students.

“They get to see some of the rehearsals; they get to work alongside them at some of the workshops. There’s clearly a gap between professional musicians and where they are but they can see the pathway, they can see how to close it.”

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The Ipswich School Festival of Music wouldn’t be complete without its education programme, sponsored by Christchurch Veterinary Referrals.

The London Mozart players will work alongside the Ipswich School Chamber Orchestra. Renowned choirmaster Dominic Peckham and members of the National Youth Choir Fellowship Octet will run a workshop for Prep School pupils and pupils from local primary schools, ending in a short concert.

Charlotte Morrison, of Christchurch Veterinary Referrals, is pleased to be able to support the programme. One of her children was in the school choir, two are still in orchestras.

“The school has such a wonderful music department. We like the fact the festival supports the whole community, it’s really important to help the school get involved with other local schools.”

Last year Ipswich School opened its multi-million pound Britten Faculty of Music. Mr Weaver added it was great to be felt of as a home for music.

“It’s a really important part of what we do. The new facilities have proven invaluable and given us room to grow and we’re going to see just some of the fruits of that at tonight’s spring concert. When we hear the national picture it’s people bemoaning music education as going down the tubes. I enjoyed music hugely when I was at school and I want to see that continue and give that opportunity to as many youngsters as possible.”

Tonight’s show featured performances by the symphony, chamber, big band and prep orchestras plus the prep chamber, show and chapel choirs, choral society and brass ensembles. The programme included Gloria by Vivaldi, Adiemus by Karl Jenkins, Handel in the Strand by Percy Grainger and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme by Klaus Badelt.

Tickets for this year’s festival go on sale from May 1 via the New Wolsey Theatre.

“As well as offering our special early bird reduction of 10% on many tickets bought before the beginning of July, we have maintained our £5 student tickets and I would encourage people to book as soon as possible, ready for some memorable concerts in the autumn,” added Mr Parry.

Click here for more about this year’s programme.

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