TAVISTOCK Festival has been another major success, with music, drama, art and talks all inspiring people across the town — the committee, under the guidance of the chairman, Christopher Kirwin, has obviously worked hard.
The lunchtime recitals in the church have been little musical jewels, with Sean Sweeney, Andrew Wilson, Brian Chapple, Leslie and Mary Mazur-Park, David Crocker and many others giving of their time and talents. The lie has been given to the suggestion that people do not come to listen to music at lunchtime!
The evening performance of the Canoryon Lowen choir was a joy, with a rich, warm sound over a well-chosen variety of works. Both accompanied and unaccompanied the choir sang faultlessly. Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus was a highlight of the evening, and the input of Rosemary Turner was an added delight.
Matthew Scott and Christine Zerafa gave a delightful recital on clarinet and piano at Mount Kelly. Matthew is making a successful career in music despite having been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and OCD.
The Tavonians gave a very moving performance of David Haig’s My Boy Jack, telling the story of Rudyard Kipling’s determination to get his son into the army during the First World War, and the effect on the family when the young man is killed. Ably directed by Stuart Waterworth, Tim Randell was outstanding as Kipling, while Guy Jones presented his teenage son as both diffident and mature.
Stannary Brass Band added their own delightful sound, as did the Tavy Tars and the Devon County Youth Brass Band. Tavistock Sings! showcased some very able young musicians; there were also live broadcasts, films and well-researched talks and lectures to attend.
World Dance Day was marked by the Chamber Ensemble of London, directed by Peter Fisher, in an unusual way. All the music they played took dance as its theme, from Purcell to new works by Clive Jenkins and Andrew Wilson, both of whom were in the audience. What made it extra special was the beautiful dancing by Heather Rees and Charlotte Deakin, complementing the music beautifully.
Canticorum, a local chamber choir, joined the parish church choir for Festival Evensong on May 1, then gave a delightful short concert of their own.
Anybody could, and many did, join in with Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, after a workshop ably led by Andrew Wilson, the festival president.
Many of the lectures were inspiring and well attended, with subjects as varied as Dartmoor, Lundy Island and the politics of James Bond.
This was a very full programme over several weeks, with surely something for everybody. It was impossible to get to everything, as on several occasions there was more than one thing happening at once. Roll on next year!