Halls of Highgate are alive with the sound of music

The Sol Grimshaw Group play a lunchtime concert at the Highgate Society in South Grove on March 20

The Sol Grimshaw Group play a lunchtime concert at the Highgate Society in South Grove on March 20 - Credit: Supplied

The halls of Highgate will be alive with music with plans for lunchtime performances and chapel concerts.

Highgate Society member Michelle Berriedale-Johnson has organised a series of "light and fun" Sunday concerts at their newly refurbished hall in South Grove with "a glass of bucks fizz to put everyone in the mood".

They kick off on March 20 with the Sol Grimshaw Gypsy Jazz Quartet - all students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama - followed by Viennese Cafe music on May 22.

"The Highgate Society was keen to do more things with their hall and it seemed that concerts would offer enjoyable entertainment to society members and the wider community," says Berriedale-Johnson.

"There's such a lot of serious, good music already going on in Highgate's churches that I wanted to do something lighter, showcasing small groups of students or musicians just starting out in their career who have been so badly impacted by the pandemic. It may not be a lot of money but it's ideal for their first paid gig. We are looking to do it monthly if we get a good response."

In a separate move, Berriedale-Johnson has arranged two concerts in Highgate School's chapel which "grew out of" four similar events at last year's Highgate Festival.

Michelle Berriedale-Johnson is organising concerts at the Highgate Society and Highgate School chapel

Michelle Berriedale-Johnson is organising concerts at the Highgate Society and Highgate School chapel - Credit: Courtesy of Michelle Berriedale-Johnson

"The school kindly allowed us to stage concerts in the chapel last summer, it proved such a lovely venue and the delightful new chaplain, Father Robert Easton, was very enthusiastic, so the arrangement has now been made formal."

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Highgate School will donate its hire fee to the music department of the London Academy of Excellence in Tottenham, a sister school catering to students from one of London's more deprived communities.

On February 27, The Russian Romantics with Madeleine Mitchell and the London Chamber Ensemble play a programme of Borodin and Ravel which was originally put together for a gala evening at the V&A to celebrate the museum's Faberge exhibition.  Visit www.tickettailor.com/events/salonmusic/641256

And on March 10, the Korros Ensemble celebrate International Women's Day with music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Catrin Finch and 20th Century English composer Elizabeth Poston. Poston worked mostly for the BBC and Korros performs her 1958 composition written for clarinet, flute and harp as well as a never published solo harp piece and three harp and flute pieces that were thought lost. Visit www.tickettailor.com/events/salonmusic/644611

Berriedale-Johnson, whose late partner was a classical record producer, used to arrange chamber concerts in their Belsize Park home. After moving to Highgate, she hopes to revive the tradition once renovations are complete.

"It's such a lovely way to spend an evening listening to music in someone's home. I hope to arrange more once the builders have finished."

The Sol Grimshaw Gypsy Jazz Quartet plays jazz classics and music from the Great American Songbook at 11.45am on March 20 at 10A South Grove. Non Society members welcome.

Visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sunday-lunchtime-concert-the-sol-grimshaw-gypsy-jazz-quartet-tickets-253935807837 to book.