A number of Jersey’s choirs, bands, community groups and young musicians will be performing alongside international artists Nicola Benedetti and the Sitkovetsky Trio at Mont Orgueil Castle for the festival’s Fête de la Musique event on Friday 8 May.
The event, which has been organised in association with the Jersey Academy of Music, and with the help of Jersey Heritage, will see the whole castle filled with music, drama, and poetry.
Performances will be taking place in the medieval great hall, Tudor great chamber, upper grand battery, middle ward, and in a concert marquee on the lower ward.
Choirs preparing to take part include the Festival Choir, Jersey Island Singers, St Ouen’s Ladies Choir, and the Musical Originals Singers.
They will be joined by local jazz bands the Le Rocquier Big Band and the Well Swung Jazz Orchestra, and there will be poetry reading and drama performances from the Good Theatre Company Juniors and Linda Rose Parkes. Local soloists include Justin Thorne, and members of the Jersey Academy of Music.
The event’s coordinator, Chris George, said that organising such a large event has already involved many interesting challenges, including a tour around the castle in February in the snow. He said that the evening will see the largest number of people packing the castle since the Halloween Fright Night there two years ago.
‘This event is shaping up to be something truly unique and special to help launch the Island’s Liberation celebrations,’ said Mr George. ‘The evening itself will have the feel of a mini festival, with a wide variety of different performances happening simultaneously throughout the castle.
‘The idea is that the public can walk freely from performance to performance, exploring the castle and enjoying the festival atmosphere.’
The event will also include fanfares from the battlements from the La Ronde Trumpeters, as well as the firing of the Mont Orgueil cannon. It all commences with a medieval hog roast and falconry display from 6 pm.
One of the event’s organisers, James Mews, added: ‘It’s going to be one amazing night. The castle is a very special location which always takes my breath away.
‘I don’t think that anything involving this number of performances on this scale has taken place here before. This will be an un-missable treat well worth the huge challenge putting it together.’
The festival programme is as follows:
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8-10 May
Ten internationally acclaimed stars and over 500 local musicians perform in stunning settings around the Island.
Friday 8 May
12.45pm Liberation Reflection at the Old Magistrate’s Court
Poems and readings interspersed with Bach’s cello suites played by Emmanuelle Dumas Tickets £5
7pm -10.30pm Fete de la Musique at Mont Orgueil
Tickets £25 Marquee seat. £16 Ground pass
8pm My Bass and Other Animals jersey Opera House
Guy Pratt bas guitar player entertains with music and hilarious tales.
Saturday 9 May
9.45 am Masterclass at Jersey Academy of Music
Short performance by Sitkovsky Trio and Masterclass for young musicians.
Tickets £5 on the door
2 pm-3 pm Al fresco concert at Weighbridge
Opera singers perform popular songs from the 1940s
8 pm Liberation Gala Concert Opera House
Nicola Benedetti, Carlos Bonell, the Sitkovetsky Trio and friends celebrate Liberation Day through music and readings
Sunday 10 May
10 am Community Choral Workshops Jersey Opera House
Workshops led by mezzo-soprano Janet Snell.
10.30 am Coffee Concert Jersey Arts Centre
1 pm – 4 pm Jazz at Elizabeth Castle
Family day out. Bring a picnic and enjoy popular jazz classics.
Tickets £25 seated at a table £15 picnic on the grass
6 pm Yacht Concert at Belcroute Bay
International guitarist Carlos Bonell plays a Spanish programme from on board a yacht.
Tickets. Bring your own boat or charter seats from Jersey Sailing
7pm Jersey Choir Concert Jersey Opera House
Janet Snell and Maya Sapone feature with a variety of Jersey choirs and young instrumental ensembles. Concludes with a medley of popular war time favourites.
• Tickets for the event are available from the Jersey Arts Centre. Full details can be found at the festival’s website www.liberationjersey.com.