‘The voices of Classic FM’ to headline Proms at St Jude’s Festival

The Sixteen. Picture: Molina Visuals.

The Sixteen. Picture: Molina Visuals. - Credit: Archant

A world-famous choir and orchestra – dubbed “the voices of Classic FM” – are performing exclusively among a top line-up at this summer’s Proms at St Jude’s Festival in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Charlie Siem.

Charlie Siem. - Credit: Archant

British choir and orchestra The Sixteen will be headlining the week-long music and literary festival in June, now in its 21st year.

Other notable artists include bass-baritone Sir Willard White, violin virtuoso Charlie Siem and Proms patron, pianist John Lill.

Proms spokesman Ron Finlay said: “The Sixteen are one of our headline acts. They are internationally-renowned and we are very privileged to have them.

“It’s also our 21st year, so there will be a big cake at some point.”

This year’s festival will include another LitFest weekend, following the success of the debut last year.

A number of best-selling authors are due to make appearances, including Whitbread Book of the Year prizewinner Kate Atkinson and renowned scientist Baroness Susan Greenfield.

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A series of free lunchtime events will support rising young musicians and there are three free concerts for children and families.

Most concerts during the festival, in and around Central Square between June 22 and 30, will be held at St Jude-on-the-Hill church and literary events will be hosted by Henrietta Barnett School.

The festival kicks off with a fun-filled weekend of music, food and even a bit of Olympic nostalgia.

“On the first Saturday the Pandemonium Drummers, who performed during the Olympics opening ceremony, are performing – that is a free event,” said Mr Finlay.

“If you liked some of the music you heard at the opening ceremony then come along and see it live. There will also be a choir including people from this area that volunteered during the Olympics.

“I also think the first Sunday is going to be a very good day because not only do we have a concert that evening, we also have the second day of our LitFest.

“The Suburb residents’ association is going to be running a big picnic in Central Square with music and fun for all the family.”

Last year, the festival raised £50,000 for the North London Hospice and the Aspire project at Toynbee Hall, which supports socially excluded young people. The same charities are supported this year.

Mr Finlay is also hoping to attract new sponsors to the festival.

Tickets for the festival can be bought online and by post from April 29, with telephone booking opening on June 5. For more information, visit www.promsatstjudes.org.uk