Proms at St Jude's festival returns with live music events
- Credit: Archant
After switching to a virtual event last year, the Proms at St Jude’s Festival is back this June with a nine day live programme of music and lit-talks.
First to be announced are performances by baritone Roderick Williams, saxophonist Jess Gillam, and talented siblings Braimah and Konya Kanneh Mason at Hampstead Garden Suburb's St Jude's Church.
Starting on June 26, the community festival, which raises funds for good causes, also includes 'Shakespeare at the Opera' by Hampstead Garden Opera, a teeny prom for the under fives, and a family concert themed around the stories of Roald Dahl.
Although Covid restrictions are due to be relaxed by the time the festival starts, all live events will have social distancing in place, with concerts lasting one hour and running twice over the same evening, one at 5.30pm and another at 8pm.
“We’re so delighted to be able to put on a live festival, despite all the difficulties,” said Proms spokesman and Trustee, Ron Finlay. “It’s great not only to be able to lift people’s spirits, but also to provide much-needed work for performers, whose livelihoods have been on hold for the last year.”
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Williams sings works by Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gillam and her ensemble perform music from her new album TIME, and the Kanneh-Mason siblings play Beethoven and Grieg on violin on piano.
Commissioned by Proms for last year's festival, The Innocents by Patrick Hawes will get its world première. Performed by VOCES8 and Finchley Children's Music Group, it commemorates the sinking of the evacuee ship SS City of Benares in 1940 and those who drowned including 77 children and Michael Rennie, son of the then vicar at St Jude’s.
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The last night of the Proms sees the Fantasia Orchestra, directed by Tom Fetherstonhaugh, with Thomas Gould playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5.
Since it started in 1993 the volunteer-run festival has raised £1 million for good causes and all profits from the 2021 event go to Toynbee Hall and the North London Hospice. Tickets go on sale next month with further lit talks and heritage walks to be announced in the coming weeks.
For priority booking join the Friends of St Jude's proms at https://www.promsatstjudes.org.uk/