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Concerts and other events

2017–2018 season

Welcome to this, our 31st year of inspiring live performance in Sowerby. We offer up another year of mouth-watering concerts – albeit slightly fewer than usual – but as varied as usual and catering for all tastes.

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Graham Merriam

Concerts Secretary

Concerts start at 7.30pm (unless shown below) in St. Oswald's Church, Sowerby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, UK (directions). For more information on the artists and content of each programme please telephone Graham Merriam on 01845 597058 or 07899 746385 or email

Ticket prices shown are for advance booking. – More

The mailing list brings you details and reminders by post or email – More

Everyone is welcome – you may be new to Sowerby Music and maybe also to classical music.

Young listeners – we hope to encourage as many students and children as possible to attend our concerts by offering them FREE admission (18 and under) as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Get concert tickets in person at Thirsk bookshops, by mail from Peter Rush or buy on line. Most concerts are cheaper in advance, but usually there are still some tickets for sale at the door on the night.


£19.00 on the door Buy now — £18.00

The Sacconis and Friends

The Sacconi Quartet - Ben Hancox and Hannah Dawson, violins; Robin Ashwell, viola and Cara Berridge, cello with Robert Plane, clarinet and Alec Frank-Gemmill, Horn.

Friday 28 September, 7.30pm

On Saturday 29 September, the Sacconi Quartet will lead an open rehearsal of a major chamber work. This will be followed by a public performance at 2.00pm and a selection of short movements from the chamber repertoire played by the Sacconis. During the morning rehearsal we are inviting artists to use the church as a studio to capture aspects of the music or players - an open studio. We hope to display the results at the public concert.

And here they are again with a luscious programme offering up new possibilities. 

Mozart - Horn Quintet in Eflat, K407

Ireland - Sextet for Clarinet, Horn and String Quartet

Weber - Clarinet Quintet, Op.34

For those familiar with the Horn Concerti, this piece of Mozart makes similar demands on the player and has a darker tonality though the use of a second viola rather than the second violin. Einstein described the slow movement as a love-duet between the horn and strings. The final movement really stretches the capabilities of both the instrument and the player.

This early piece of Ireland's chamber music, dating from 1898, reflects his teacher Stanford's obsession with Brahms and, while it is by no means slavish, it displays a distinct Brahmsian feeling throughout.

Weber wrote his clarinet quintet between 1811 and 1815; as with his other clarinet compositions it was written for Heinrich Baermann, the pre-eminent German clarinettist of the day. A new instrument with new keys and greater possibilities enabled Weber to write for greater versatility and expression.


£11.00 on the door Buy now — £10.00

Angel Voices ever Singing

The RNCM Songsters under the direction of Professor Lynne Dawson

Friday 19 October, 7.30pm

Senior vocal students and a senior accompaniment student combine forces to present a feast of song - some secular, some liturgical.


£19.00 on the door Buy now — £18.00

Red Priest - The Baroque Bohemians

From Campsite to Court with Piers Adams recorders, Adam Summerhayes violin, Angela East cello and David Wright harpsichord

Friday 16 November, 7.30pm

Music by Vivaldi, Telemann, Handel, Biber, Byrd, Mielczewski and Hungarian folk melodies 

The world-famous baroque quartet led by ‘superhuman’ recorder player Piers Adams and the devilish fiddler, Adam Summerhayes, transform into a wild ‘baroque gypsy’ band. They re-live the extraordinary virtuosity of early Bohemian Baroque masters, explore melodies from a 1730 Slovakian fiddler’s tune-book, revel in the gypsy-influenced music of Telemann, and re-imagine music by Handel and the original Red Priest, Antonio Vivaldi – all in their own inimitable, high-octane style. Positively volcanic!



There is no charge

Annual General Meeting

The Society's chance to review the events of the previous year.

Saturday 8 December, 2.45pm

There will, of course, be drinks and nibbles and a short informal concert at 3.30pm - details to follow.

In addition to the review of the year to 31st August 2018, we shall look forward to plans for the future.


Buy now — £10.00

Romance on the Keys

Christian Sandrin, piano Supported by the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme.

Sunday 20 January, 3.00pm

A scrumptious feast of Schubert, Brahms and Schumann - ?Kreisleriana. This programme is subject to change.


£19.00 on the door Buy now — £18.00

A 12-stringed Celebration

The Katona Twins - Peter and Zoltan celebrate their 30th year performing as a duo

Saturday 13 April, 7.30pm


"The brilliant Katona Twins … Formidable virtuoso technique,  their performances could hardly be bettered for charm, zest, wit and colouristic flair.” - Daily Telegraph


£11.00 on the door Buy now — £10.00

Yorkshire and Humber's Finest

An update on the prodigious talent within the Yorkshire Young Musicians portfolio of highly talented students. Directed by Penny Stirling

Saturday 11 May, 7.30pm


£19.00 on the door Buy now — £18.00

Voces8 in Concert

Internationally acclaimed a cappella ensemble. The very best around.

Sunday 9 June, 4.00pm

From 4.30pm on Saturday 8th June, there will be a "Come and Sing" with Voces8 for all abilities and ages. This finish at 8.00pm with a bring-your-own meal in the middle. Nothing to rehearse beforehand, inability to sight-sing not a problem - just come! Voces8 will perform a short selection of pieces at the end.

The press says:

“The singing of VOCES8 is impeccable in its quality of tone and balance. They bring a new dimension to the word ‘ensemble’ with meticulous timing and tuning.” Gramophone

“Eight beautifully integrated solo voices... persuasive and committed singing.” BBC Music Magazine Choral and Song Choice

“VOCES8 are undoubtedly gifted.” The Times

With an on-going programme of recordings and live broadcasts, VOCES8 is heard regularly on international television and radio. The ensemble is a Decca Classics artist and has released acclaimed recordings that have been at the top of the classical charts. VOCES8 has premiered commissions from Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Alec Roth, Ben Parry, Ola Gjeilo, Philip Stopford and Thomas Hewitt Jones. The group also performs bespoke arrangements written by Arranger in Residence, Jim Clements. The ensemble welcomed one of the most celebrated contemporary composers, Jonathan Dove, as Composer in Residence for two seasons from September 2017. As well as a commission planned for 2019 (Jonathan’s 60th birthday year), the associateship will provide mentoring opportunities to emerging composers linked with the group’s education programme

Their repertoire spans Byrd to Bieber, Beethoven to Brahms, BeBop and with the classiest arrangements imaginable


Previous concerts