Music Programme Bigger Than Ever At Buxton Fringe

Press Release 12 June 2012

The wealth of Music on offer sets Buxton apart from other Fringes. The opera festival attracts many music fans and the Fringe in turn attracts many superb musical performers. In recent years this section of the programme has grown to rival Theatre in size, seeing a 50% rise over the last two years to 44 entrants this year.

Outside the main Buxton Festival, the Fringe offers more opera for those that can't get enough! City of Manchester Opera performs some of their current repertoire, but also an advance selection from their new production of 'The Bartered Bride'. Relative Pitch Opera bring us the story and the songs of Florence Easton, the Nightingale of South Bank, and Fringe favourite Margaret Ferguson returns for an Evening with Africa's Lady of Song.

This year there is an international element to the Choral programme as Guelph Chamber Choir from Canada, competing in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, presents a concert of Summer Songs. Not to be outdone, the ever-popular Tideswell Male Voice Choir will sing a wide range of songs that will excite and move. Inspired by the success of last year's event, Buxton's Community Choir, Local Vocals, return with Songs for All Seasons. There are two a cappella options, talented male group, Derby A Cappella Chorus will be performing a wide range of material, while Ordsall Singers promise Acapella and Cake, four-part unaccompanied songs and homemade cake!

Buxton is also spoiled for orchestral talent during the Fringe. Amaretti Chamber Orchestra plan a fantastic evening of mainly English string music, while High Peak Orchestra presents a repertoire of Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart. The Derbyshire City and County Youth Orchestra Summer Residential Course climaxes with a concert at the Fringe, and Manchester Recorder Orchestra include a varied programme of well-known and contemporary works.

Outside the big orchestras there are many opportunities to enjoy instrumental music on a smaller scale. Not to be confused with each other, the Bright String Trio combines with Alex Kane, principal bassoonist of Cheshire Sinfonia, as 12 Strings and a Double Reed, whereas 16 Strings and a Double Reed comprises the Deconet String Quartet joining forces with the Sinfonia's principal oboist, Simon Beesley. The Ryebank Trio return to the Fringe with another concert of classical chamber music, and the Sovereign Saxophone Octet are back and building on last year's success.

Solo performers include pianists Jonathan Ellis, with his show Musical Journeys and James Pelham, who conjures up Pictures in Music. Pianist/Guitarist Dave Stewart appeals to fans of Einaudi and all styles of Acoustic Guitar music, while in the Art of Guitar Edward Billingham's repertoire ranges from the Baroque and Classical periods to Spanish and South American masterpieces.

The Fringe also boasts plenty of songs to complement all that wonderful instrumental music. Selfmade Music returns with a beautiful selection in Music of the Heart, there is more romance in Songs of Sentiment from Tim Kennedy and Catherine Hall-Smith, and Angela Rowley explores dreams in To Sleep, Perchance to Dream. Sempre will perform three varied programmes of close harmony across a Summer Afternoon while Merseyside-based ensemble MusiKa provide a mixed bag of musical theatre favourites from the 1950s to the present day in Musicality! Sentimentalists stand for lyricism, lovely music and character, with songs played by top-quality musicians and sung by the downbeat, charismatic Phil Fowler.

Glamorous divas and great numbers are a feature of this year's Fringe. Internationally-renowned Sarah-Ann Cromwell reckons the classical soprano recital needs a good shake up! Journey through the traumas and tantrums with her in Diva Gigs: A Week in the Life of a Diva. In Kiss of the Red Menace, diva-chanteuse Melody La Rouge plays tribute to Kander & Ebb, writers of Cabaret, Chicago, Funny Lady and more. If that wasn't enough glamour, Lili La Scala has Songs to Make you Smile with joyous songs of yesteryear, 'Ravishing vintage glamour' according to the Telegraph.

As usual, there is some excellent Jazz on offer; Jet Collective's eight musicians have created the Derbyshire Suite, the Exchange Orchestra promise intricate arrangements, exciting solos and top quality playing from seasoned pros in Monk Lives! and the Stop Motion Trio featuring Aron Kyne, Matt Davies & Emlyn Vaughan will put together a mix of swing, Latin, hip-hop and modern jazz.

Exciting news for folk fans as Buxton's Club Acoustic join the Fringe for the first time; expect an eclectic mix featuring blues, jazz, folk, pop and original compositions plus a sing-along finale. More great folk and blues material from Perry Huntsman and Hilary Morel in their show the Wragged Tree, and all the way from from Australia Hat Fitz & Cara launch their album Wiley Ways skillfully fusing hill-style country blues with old-time folk. If you like your folk music in the Celtic vein, The Family MacCool swing you on a journey from the Celtic heartlands, and Grasp the Nettle offer traditional and contemporary Irish music. Roaring Owls Karen Heywood & Liz Turner have supported the legendary Christy Moore and will be performing folk both a cappella and accompanied. The sensory alternative pop/folk experience of Rebecca De Winter is akin to opening an old wardrobe door and stepping into a fairytale land, her show ...And Other Tales is a new musical adventure

With such a massive programme, there is also room for something different, how about Will Hawthorne's Killer Bees, classic B-sides from the days when owning a record meant something? Or the Wit and Wisdom of the Williams Boys - Alan Williams delivers his own songs with style, and Booker prize nominee Jim Williams reads original verse and prose. In Humour in Harmony the Sheffield Lydian Ensemble will entertain you with rarely heard musical compositions on themes of nonsense and humour. From the other side of the tracks the Tallyman's Dark Omnibus promises Sex, Darkness, Fear, a world which is nice to visit but where one wouldn't want to stay for too long.

And last, but definitely not least, Partita's Early Music Concerts combine sublime voices, lute, harpsichord, theorbo, viol and baroque guitar to perform Renaissance and baroque music. Says Fringe chair Stephanie Billen: 'Music has absolutely exploded at the Fringe over the past few years and I'm happy to say that the quality is right up there too. When you think of everything the Buxton Festival has to offer as well then it's clear that the town is offering something really special for music lovers this July'.

The Fringe is hugely grateful to its many supporters including its main sponsor The University of Derby Buxton as well as The Osborne Group, High Peak Borough Council, The Old Hall Hotel and The Cavendish Shopping Arcade.

For further information and interviews, Send message to Press.