Horsham Festival promises cultural riches

Horsham Festival launches in June with the promise of an exciting showcase of the creative talent living and working in the heart of Horsham district.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 9:00 am
Horsham Festival 2019 Malcolm Singer's Dragons
Horsham Festival 2019 Malcolm Singer's Dragons

Project manager Aleida Strowger said: “It’s the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 and we’re delighted that so many Horsham Festival participants, both past and present, are involved.

“It’s testament to the participants’ passion for the arts and the quality of the projects they deliver to communities across the district. That’s why, this year, the programme will run from June to November to ensure that all of these great events are championed by Horsham Festival!”

“For 2019, the programme again spans a broad selection of the arts, featuring everyone from internationally acclaimed musicians to burgeoning creatives from our local schools, and includes two fantastic new venues, the beautiful Leonardslee House & Gardens and the Rec Rooms – Horsham’s coolest new live music venue.

“Opening the festival on June 22 is a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Season, the first of three classical music concerts presented as the Leonardslee Summer Concert Series with Bernardi Music Group. The outstanding music strand continues throughout the programme with an event to suit all tastes – classical, rock, pop, jazz, country and folk. Now in its 27th year, the long-standing Horsham Battle of the Bands competition brings it live and loud with July heats at The Rec Rooms and Horsham Sports Club, followed by finals on the Carfax Bandstand and in the Human Nature Garden in August; Horsham Garden Music Festival drops a Glasto vibe, giving amateur and semi-professional groups and individuals an opportunity to perform in Horsham Park: The Toons provide accompaniment to Horsham’s Riverside Walk; Food Rocks deliver a touch of splendour at the Leonardslee Tiddly Proms; while the Horsham Folk Club celebrates its 50th anniversary with three Horsham Festival Specials.

“Art-lovers can browse and buy paintings, drawings, pottery, ceramics and sculpture by some of the best artists hailing from across Sussex at the Association of Sussex Artists Exhibition; while budding makers and Eco Warriors are invited to ‘Ocean Bomb’ their neighbourhood as part of the Community Eco Ocean Art Project.

“Mad Shelley, a powerful and thought-provoking play about the life of Horsham’s most (in)famous son, written for the Year of Culture by Kathryn Attwood is presented by Lights & Bushels, Horsham’s award-winning theatre company at The Capitol Studio (September 5-7) and Morris in the Carfax (July 11), an evening of traditional dancing, is delivered by Broadwood Morris Men and other Horsham District dance sides.

“Details of timings and venues are in our programme. Available to pick up at Horsham Library and Museum, and other local art and culture venues.”

Horsham Festival is proud to be an inclusive community event. A key aim is to showcase the talent of local young, disabled and disadvantaged people. This year the programme features more than 1,000 children and young adults from the district and beyond participating through a variety of art forms.

Aleida added: “The first ever Horsham Children’s Parade (July 7) sees children, teachers and families from 17 of the district’s schools celebrate their creativity in a joyous walking exhibition of imaginative artworks, upbeat music and dance, paraded through Horsham’s town centre and park. This year’s theme is Art & Artists, so watch out for creations based on everyone from Van Gogh, to Warhol to Frida Kahlo.

“Stopgap Dance Company and Chris Pavia have collaborated to present Space in Gravity at The Capitol Theatre (July 16), a unique triple bill of dance – featuring a digital projections by Carousel – an award-winning charity supporting learning disabled people to achieve their artistic ambitions; Collyer’s A-Level Dance students and members of Horsham’s Butterfly Project, plus a screening of the acclaimed dance film, Artificial Things).

“Closing the festival is Dragons (November 22), an ambitious performance that gathers a massed choir and string players of up to 250 talented children from local schools to perform alongside string players from the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School and String Academy. Through a series of rehearsals with professional musicians the children get the opportunity to develop their talent and build their confidence before the final performance to family, friends and music lovers. Co-presented by Horsham Festival and Shipley Arts Festival and written and conducted by leading composer Malcom Singer.”

During the festival, the organisers will be running a series of competitions to give away tickets to Horsham Festival events, plus other goodies.

“To celebrate our first event, Vivaldi’s Four Season, part of the Leonardslee Summer Series, we’re offering offer a chance to win two times entry to the beautiful Leonardslee Gardens.”More details on http://www.horshamfestival.co.uk.

“Horsham Festival is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) which held its inaugural festival in 2016. The Festival embraces every art form and every form of artistic expression, and supports both new and established organisations and individuals to develop and showcase their creativity. Our vision is to become a diverse and inclusive arts festival.”