Oboe star set to sparkle at Chobham Festival

CHOBHAM’S annual nine-day cultural celebration is branching out this year – across the parish boundary into West End.

The splendid Recreation Hall at Gordon’s School is the venue for a performance by one of the country’s best barbershop choruses.

The evening of musical entertainment is one of 10 events for the 2017 Chobham Festival, which starts on Saturday next week, 23 September.

The award-winning a capella group, Royal Harmonics, from Windsor, will be at the school on Thursday 28 September. They have performed for The Queen at a private function.

An evening of vintage jazz in the village hall with the Excel Jazzmen launches the festival on 23 September,

St Lawrence Church in High Street, Chobham, is again the venue for the festival’s two classical concerts – a candlelit performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet and Beethoven’s Archduke Trio on Tuesday 26 September, and Festive Baroque on Saturday 30 September.

The latter will include Albinoni’s Oboe Concerto, Bach’s Double concerto for Oboe and Violin, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins and two of Handel’s most popular works, The Water Music and the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.

The oboe soloist for the Baroque concert is Helen Barker, who grew up in Woking, before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where she won all the oboe prizes.

Since then she has had a busy career as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in London and around the UK.

“I am delighted to have been asked to play at Chobham Festival this year,” said Helen. “As a musician, you end up travelling far and wide, giving many performances hundreds of miles from home, so I am really looking forward to doing a concert which so many of my family and friends will be able to attend easily.”

Author Jane Austen features at this year’s festival, 200 years after her death. Sophie Andrews, a young “Janeite” fan and blogger, will be bringing an entertainment of words and music about Austen heroines.

The event is on Sunday 24 September at Chobham Church Hall, with a glass of bubbly, tea and cake, included.

The weekend of 30 September and 1 October features an art show in the church hall staged by members of Chobham Art Group. On display and for sale will be paintings in oils, pastel, watercolour and mixed media plus miniatures, folios, prints and cards.

Also on the programme is a Ukulele Evening at Pasha in Chobham High Street, on Wednesday 27 September and Songs of Praise in the church, rounding off the festivities, on Sunday 1 October.

No tickets are needed for the ukulele evening at Pasha or Songs of Praise. Other ticket prices range from £10 to £20. Call the box office on 01276 857222 or visit festival.chobham.org for more information.

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