Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Community groups showcase their talents alongside the celebrities at the Sevenoaks Summer festival

by Festival Chairman – Ray Russell

LOCAL community groups’ events are at the heart of Festival and it’s our mission to showcase the breadth and diversity of local arts activities and opportunities.

Green Street Blues

This year, we’re pleased to showcase offerings from regular participants Blues With Bottle Club, Chance To Dance, Green Street Blues, KYJO, Primavera Chamber Ensemble, Sevenoaks Philharmonic Choir, Sevenoaks Shakespeare Society and Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival, along with exhibitions from Sevenoaks Art Club and Sevenoaks Society and a collaboration between Sevenoaks Camera Club and Sevenoaks Town Council for both an exhibition and a talk on the renaissance of Bat & Ball railway station.

We’re pleased to welcome back:

  • Great Comp’s Music Festival featuring the Sacconi and Castalian quartets
  • Kippington St Mary’s flower show and evening concert with the Elektra Violin Duo
  • Kent International Club’s ‘The Lives Of Others’ – a German film with English sub-titles
  • Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees’ international guitar concert featuring Ayman Jarjour

and extend a very warm welcome to Festival debutantes:

  • Chiddingstone Causeway’s Live Music Club to celebrate the Kinks’ Ray Davies’ 75th birthday
  • Michael Bascom & Friends whose ‘Cathy’ is a retelling of Wuthering Heights
  • Sevenoaks Ramblers who offer no less than six walks of varying length
  • Soul Train Choir and Friends performing uplifting Soul and Motown classic hits.

A memorial concert is being held for Martin Salisbury (pictured) on 5 July as part of the Sevenoaks Summer Festival.

On a less happy note, but nonetheless fitting, The Listening Room Music Agency has put together a special memorial concert to celebrate the life of Martin Salisbury, who was at the centre of much of the town’s musical activities from his CD Shop in London Road before his untimely death last year.

As is now traditional, we supplement Community Group events with a range of celebrity concerts. For this, I must shine the spotlight on the local businesses and organisations that, as event sponsors and patrons, make it possible for us to bring you Festival Fair on the opening Saturday, as well as famous (and not so famous) names to Sevenoaks in the ensuing 16 days.

In addition to major funding from Sevenoaks Town Council, Kent County Council, Bligh’s Meadow, Sevenoaks School and Berkeley Homes, we’re grateful for event sponsorship from Wildernesse House, the HR Dept, ArchiLab7, Care UK, NFU Mutual, Hamptons International, Solefield School and Warners Solicitors.

Patrons this year are: INDEX Magazine, Sevenoaks District Arts Council, Walthamstow Hall School, Sanlam Wealthsmiths, KMfm, Francis Jones Jewellers, Handelsbanken, Listening Room Music Agency,, Russell Harper Photography, Crossley Davis, Greenaway, Obvious Print Solutions, SCHMIDT Kitchens, Sevenoaks & District Chamber of Commerce, Sheffords, Strutt & Parker and The Marketing Solution.

There are two reasons for including ‘celebrity concerts’ in our Community Festival:

  1. to provide inspirational content for those local group performers who aspire to greater things;
  2. to appeal to audiences locally and to draw others into Sevenoaks by putting the icing on the cake of local offerings by way of pure professional entertainment.

As a reminder in case you missed last week’s Fanfare, this year’s celebrities are:

The Tallis Scholars

London Community Gospel Choir

David Starkey

Harry The Piano

Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee & Friends

Clare Teal & The Len Phillips Big Band

Rick Wakeman

Full details are in the brochure available to collect from Stag, Waitrose and various other outlets in Sevenoaks and surrounding towns and villages. You can also view an online version on our website, which also has links to the box offices for all ticketed events:

Look our for more information on the My Sevenoaks Community website in the coming weeks.

For further information please contact:

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