Fringe Box



Music On The Hill Top – Weekend Music Festival At St Martha’s

Published on: 17 May, 2013
Updated on: 17 May, 2013
St Martha's - Photo Peter Schluter

St Martha’s – Photo Peter Schluter©

It isn’t just Spring in the air.  Music too will fill the air when musicians, pilgrims, walkers and their dogs gather at St Martha’s on top of the North Downs for a weekend festival of music.

After three successful concerts earlier this year as part of the Guildford International Music Festival when the tiny church of St-Martha-on-the-Hill above Chilworth was packed to the rafters, the hilltop church will once again play host to a series of back-to-back concerts over the weekend of 25-26 May.

If the sun stays out, affording visitors breath-takingly long views over no fewer than eight counties, then we can expect a veritable riot of musicians and appreciative audiences.

The music on offer is just what the weary walker wants.  It’s a 15-minute uphill trek from the car park to reach the church.  So what better way to celebrate the achievement than to dip into a cool “Jazz Hour”, a strictly “Baroque Hour”, or a romantic “Brahms Hour”?     If you don’t fancy smooth “Clarinet Classics”, there are also flashy “Piano Treats” and a recital of soulful English Song.


It’s a 15-minute uphill trek from the car park to reach the church – Photo Peter Schluter©

The Holywell Ensemble present a programme inspired by the English countryside.   The Festival Concert on the Saturday evening includes Rossini’s delightful Petite Messe Solonelle directed by Peter White.

And if you haven’t run out of puff, you can even join in the choir for Choral Evensong celebrated by the Bishop of Dorking at 4pm on Sunday 26 May.  Experienced singers need only turn up for an open rehearsal an hour in advance.

The young musicians who are offering their talents do so because the hilltop venue, historically a meeting place on the Pilgrim’s Way, continues to be an inspiring place to perform.  The concerts are absolutely free, though donations are appreciated.   Dogs, always amazingly well-behaved in the company of musicians, are particularly welcome.   This enterprising festival deserves our support.   More details from 01483 503301.

Close the gate as you leave - Photo Peter Schluter

Close the gate as you leave – Photo Peter Schluter©

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