Universal language of music

CHRISTCHURCH Priory Music and Arts Festival continues until Saturday 16th June with a varied and inventive programme that includes Beer and Hymns, a ceilidh in the nave and a recital from a former chorister.

On Monday the Bournemouth University Big Band peps up lunchtime with a concert of jazz, swing and pops, and in the evening the acappella quintet Papagena will be singing Nuns and Roses II.

The singers lead a workshop on Tuesday morning, and in the evening Up and Running will be in charge of the ceilidh in the nave of the magnificent Norman church.

Tenor Daniel Bell, a graduate of the Royal College of Music, returns to the church where he sang for more than a decade to give a Wednesday lunchtime concert of operatic arias. In the evening the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines will perform a selection of marches, songs and military favourites.

Priory director of music Simon Earl joins his fellow organist Thomas Moore from Wakefield Cathedral to give a duet organ recital at 12.30 on Thursday, and in the evening the congregation joins the audience to find out what happens when you cross hymn singing with a beer festival. It may be that the traditional British reserve is lost along the way.

On Friday 15th June violinist Oliver Nelson performs a free recital in the Baptistry at  12.30, and in the evening the Priory Choir sings Britten’s St Nicolas =, joined by Bournemouth Symph­ony Chorus and tenor Luke Daniel.

The festival, a regular anuual event after three years, has been created to explore the universal language of music. It comes to an end on Saturday with a harp recital at the church of St John in Purewell by Stephanie Liney. The final event, in the Priory, is a Last Night of the Proms with pianist Janine Forrester and an orchestra drawn up for the occasion.

For more information, telephone 01202 485804 or visit the website, www.christchurchpriory.org/events