Rye Arts Festival had its launch for members on Sunday 24 July at the Community Centre in Rye. The hall was full of people keen to know what delights there would be this year.
The events organisers, John Case, Niki Stuart and Geoff Boudreau highlighted some of the seventy events.
How does one choose ones highlights when everyone has different tastes? Difficult, but the collection of events to choose from is so diverse that everyone will find something to please. For example, the festival is delighted to welcome best-selling writer Robert Harris to Rye for the first time talking about his thrilling new novel Act of Oblivion. Lord David Owen will talk about his book, Riddle Mystery and Enigma, exploring the history of the political relationship between Russia and Great Britain over the last 200 years. And no festival is complete without Richard Coles, this year discussing his debut crime novel Murder before Evensong. His fans trek for miles to see and hear him and he is so popular that tickets will fly out of the door.
The list is a very long one and I won’t spoil your anticipation of getting your brochure. The problem will surely be which ones to leave out rather than which to attend. The brochures are available at dozens of shops, churches and pubs in Rye and throughout the region.
John Case talked about the exciting prospect of hearing young talented musicians from City Music Foundation as they climb the ladder of success. The foundation’s mission is to turn exceptional musical talent into professional success by equipping outstanding musicians with tools, skills, experience, and networks to help them make a living from making music. We are also offering four lunchtime concerts in St Mary’s Church at and we hope lots of you will show your support for these incredibly talented and exciting musicians. The first musical event is performed by percussionist James Larter who will be presenting an eclectic array of music for marimba, percussion and electronics and we end with a wonderful Opera Evening – Seasons of Love packed full of delicious spine-tingling arias.
One of lasts year’s highlights was the Musical Pilgrimage by The Victoria Consort. These singers have been invited back and we will start the pilgrimage at Winchelsea this year, the audience then walking back to Rye, via Camber Castle, for the second half. All in all, there are piano recitals, a feast of strings and opera highlights. Here too, there are many events to choose from.
Geoff Boudreau then gave us an insight into the events for Traditional and Contemporary Music highlighting The Mountain Firework Company, The Fay Hield Trio, Kate Garner and her band, Aaron Catlow and Kadialy Kouyate.
It is really important to thank John, Niki, Geoff and Andy for their tireless efforts in getting together so many wonderful participants for this Festival. It is many months in the planning, necessitating endless emails and phone calls. Of course, it all comes together beautifully in the end as if by magic, but we should be mindful that the organisers dedicate themselves to producing an amazing festival. They have a great supporting team behind the wings including David, who does marketing and publicity, Alex who manages the website, Beth in the Box Office and Janet who manages the wonderful band of volunteer stewards who are an essential part of the festival and make things run smoothly.
Image Credits: Rye Arts Festival , Kt Bruce .