Beaminster Festival organiser leaves on a high note

STEPPING DOWN: Tanya Bruce-Lockhart and Lily

STEPPING DOWN: Tanya Bruce-Lockhart and Lily

First published in News Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Photograph of the Author by

Tanya Bruce-Lockhart has decided to move on following a decade of organising Beaminster Festival.

She said: “I feel I have done all I can to expand the quality and the variety of the Beaminster Festival over the last ten years and need fresh challenges.

“Beaminster is now at the forefront of the Westcountry’s music and arts festivals and it’s been fun and rewarding to see how much this is endorsed and appreciated by everyone – visitors, residents and friends of all ages.

“Part of my ambition has been to provide free events and workshops for the schoolchildren and students who live in the area.”

She’s proud to be ending her tenure on a high note with all the favourites at this year’s festival from June 28 to July 6.

These will include dancing in the Square, Andy Baker and members of the Mini Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the recorder player Piers Adam, who will host workshops at Beaminster School.

Rising stars of the classical music world have given concerts over the years under the Tanya ‘baton’, including violinist Nicola Benedetti, trumpeter Alison Balsom and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor. Tanya added: “This year, cellist Laura van der Heijden, winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year, will be at Beaminster, embarking on what promises to be her stellar career.”

Firm family favourites are the Illyria Open Air Theatre Company, who return with a production of Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine and the menu of music is as eclectic as ever, as are the Literary Talks.

Andy Hancock, the music man, has all kinds of musical treats on offer for the free dancing in the Square event that heralds the start of the festival. There will be music from the Onyx Brass Quintet at lunchtime on Monday, June 30.

In the evening, the New Rope String Band will perform with an unusual entertainment – part clowning, part slapstick, part vaudeville – aimed at enthralling audiences with sounds of celtic, bluegrass, cajun and dixieland.

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