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Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival - celebrating talent from across the UK

12 May 2009

The Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival, which this year runs from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd May, opens with the wildly eccentric early music group RED PRIEST at Toll Gavel Methodist Church at 7.30pm. In a programme entitled The Carnival of the Seasons, the group take an inventive look at music which is guaranteed to entertain and amuse.

At lunchtime on Friday 22nd May, the Beverley Early Music Festival Schools' Chorus make their Festival debut in St Mary's Church, Beverley with an exhilarating programme encompassing two of the most joyous pieces of music ever written - Purcell's Come Ye Sons of Art and Vivaldi's Gloria. The Chorus, which is directed by Sam Dunkley of Woldgate College, embraces students from South Hunsley, Ripon Cathedral School, Woldgate College and Longcroft School with soloists from the Royal Northern College of Music and instrumentalists from the University of York. Sam Dunkley said "this is a remarkable opportunity for us all to appear on a national platform alongside some of the world's finest early music artists". Delma Tomlin, Director of the Festival said "I'm thrilled that so many young people are taking part in the Festival this year and very much look forward to hearing them - it should be a really splendid concert."

The Festival continues with a series of illustrated lectures, practical workshops and concerts in Beverley Minster including the internationally acclaimed viol consort Fretwork with soloist Clare Wilkinson [Friday 22nd May] and The Bach Players with soloists Rachel Elliott and Sally Bruce-Payne [Saturday 23rd May]. Tickets for both concerts will be available on the door from 6.30pm on the night of the concert.

And to draw in the really young ... the Festival is working with its parent organisation, the National Centre for Early Music, to provide free educational resources for key stage 2 pupils aged 7 - 11. Written by Dr Cathryn Dew of the NCEM, the resources will give teachers information on the history of the times, with activities for the classroom and musical examples. The resource will be available soon from the NCEM's web site - .

The Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival is directed by Delma Tomlin and administered through the National Centre for Early Music with financial support from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Arts Council, England and Schroder Financial Management. For tickets and festival brochures, please contact the NCEM, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL on 01904 658338, visit or use the secure on-line booking service at Please note that tickets can also be purchased in person from the Beverley Tourist Information Centre, 34 Butcher Row, Beverley.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/05/2009: for photos/further information, please contact