‘Overwhelming’ response to festival

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The organisers of the inaugural Battle Arts & Music Festival have been overwhelmed by public support and enthusiasm for their project following a free taster concert at Battle Memorial Halls last Sunday.

They had promised artists of international repute and they delivered - Sunday’s ensemble included nine players who regularly perform with the top UK and London orchestras who performed music by Corelli and Mozart.

There was a further solo performance of Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons by Dominic Moore, Artistic Director and founder member of the St George’s Chamber Orchestra.

The near capacity audience heeded the organisers’ advice to arrive early in order to secure a seat and began arriving from 2pm for a 3pm start. Those who did were treated to four members of the East Sussex Music Service Orchestra playing music from their string quartet repertoire which enchanted their audience.

The young players reached such high standards of performance that they were invited to join the professional musicians during the second half of the concert to play the Andante Festivo by Sibelius. This almost brought the house down and a well-deserved standing ovation followed.

In many ways the sight of young players performing with professional musicians typifies some of the aims of the festival, bringing music of the very highest standard to all generations in the 1066 Country region.

The concert was such a success, the team have received many offers of sponsorship and volunteer assistance and all attendees expressed an interested in being kept informed of future events. Battle stalwarts Robert and Margaret Emeleus were so impressed with the quality of the performance that they very generously offered to cover the costs of the venue hire on the day.

Audience members were equally quick to offer donations totally almost £700 following the concert and all money raised will be used towards funding the 2014 Festival.

David Furness, Chairman of the organising committee was delighted with the public’s response. He said “We couldn’t have wished for more enthusiasm, support and interaction.

The entirely positive feedback to both the concert and our plans for a festival, along with suggestions for events and offers of assistance, has confirmed to us that Battle welcomes what we’re proposing.

We are now in discussions with a number of established organisations and other festival organisers regarding their potential involvement and have a lot of work to do in the coming months. For now we very much look forward to what we hope will be just the first instalment of an annual event.”

Anyone wishing to get contact the organisers can do so via info@BattleFestival.co.uk or by signing up to the festival newsletter on www.BattleFestival.co.uk.

Background

Currently in the planning stages, the Battle Arts & Music Festival promises to be a vibrant and exciting addition to Battle’s calendar of events. It is hoped the festival will attract visitors to the town over a three day period, just as the summer season has come to a close and the nights are beginning to draw in.

The organisers aim to promote Battle as a town for all seasons and envisage indoor and outdoor events throughout the day and evening, with candlelight, roaring log fires and locally sourced food to attract and retain visitors in the town throughout the weekend.

It is hoped 2014 will be the first of what will become an annual festival, creating a lasting cultural legacy for the town.

The team behind the festival is promising performances from internationally renowned classical musicians, drawn from premier UK and London based orchestras and ensembles, who will feature in ticketed events at several festival venues throughout the town.

Visual arts exhibitions will include work by renowned international and regional artists and will be held at participating galleries and exhibition spaces.

Additionally, intimate Battle Fringe events will take place in many of the town’s bars and restaurants and will complement the classical performances with jazz, folk and rock.

The festival website will be up and running shortly but, in the meantime, you can follow progress on twitter.com/BattleFestival and facebook.com/BattleFestival.