Simon Parker - Music Advisor

Our 2014 music programme continues to push the boundaries with a diversity of musical styles suitable for all tastes, yet continuing the strong Festival tradition of promoting local musical talent, a principle which has been the key to a successful Festival for the past 40 years.

The Festival opens with two theatrical performances of ‘Our Town’ (2 and 3) telling the story of Calne over the 100 years since WW1. The opening weekend also sees the first of two Woodstock evenings (4) showcasing many of our finest local bands, and the ever popular BJ Big Band (5). Other highlights include: Keith Abrams’ talk on what makes a musical masterwork great (7); the Bonfire Radicals with local Klezmer clarinettist Katie Stevens (16); an evening of Bach and the Amazon with cellist Emily Burridge (19), and Mick O’Toole in the White Hart (14). Also we have the Salisbury Cathedral Choir (10), SuperNova (17), and End of the Track (28) singing songs from the Swinging Sixties..

The lunchtime series offer a wide choice and include a performance by music scholars from Marlborough College (9); our combined choir of Calne schools (12) performing both well-known and less well-known folk songs of these islands; music and poetry based around WW1 with St Mary’s School Opera Ensemble and Sue Boddington (18), and the winners of the Festival Poetry competition, and a debut Festival performance by local pianist, Jacob Byrne (21).

Our next generation of musicians feature strongly throughout the Festival with a spectacular combined performance by pupils of the John Bentley and St Mary’s schools (13), in addition to an Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) high scorers’ concert (26).

To conclude our 40th Festival, we have invited Calne’s Jazz Club to bring down the curtain with James Harpham and members of Medicine Creek (30). Join us for what promises to be an entertaining yet relaxing evening of bluegrass and traditional jazz; the perfect way to finish 40 years!

Calne Music and Arts Festival Bursar

This year saw the first award of the Calne Music and Arts Festival Bursary which went to Annie-Rose Cowdry. The Festival paid for her singing lessons in 2013-2014 and this has helped her progress to the University of Wales in Newport to study Music Therapy


War Mamorial Project 2014

With the centenary of the First World War in 2014 there is a need, and opportunity, for young people in Calne to connect with this part of their fading local heritage. The Calne War Memorial Project aims to bring back to life the names on our treasured War Memorial. With training in Oral History, pupils from The John Bentley School and St Mary’s School will research names on the memorial and discover who they were in the context of Calne 100 years ago, what happened to them in the Great War and the effect their loss had on Calne during the last 100 years. Read more >