The Brook Street Band has long dreamed of presenting its own Festival, dedicated to the great love of its life, George Frideric Handel. love: Handel is a brand new festival, timed to coincide with and celebrate the end of the Band’s 20th Anniversary year, bringing Handel’s music to Norwich, an area currently lacking an early music Festival. The BSB has close connections with the area, several of its members having lived and worked there, and love: Handel enables the BSB to bring Handel’s music into the heart of this community. The Brook Street Band believes it is perfectly positioned to deliver a new Handel Festival, away from London and its saturation of cultural activity, but still within an active, supportive and vibrant musical community, which Norwich offers.
Tatty Theo, the group’s founder writes: “As a group, we are lucky enough to play in many of most prestigious concert venues, but we are also passionate about bringing the music we love to our local community, especially working with young people in education and involving them in our concerts. love: Handel unites these factors, with several Band-members living in East Anglia, and a wide-ranging music education programme in place across the region with links to Norfolk Music Service, Cambridgeshire Music Hub Live and Aldeburgh Young Musicians”.
Coupled with the love: Handel Festival is an extensive education programme, for junior and secondary schools in Norwich and the surrounding area, in association with the Norfolk Music Service. This aims to get more young people taking part in music and the arts and improve music and cultural education for children (key aims of the Department for Education), as well as encouraging young people to attend the Festival. The Brook Street Band will present whole-school music assemblies and work in detail with over 270 children.
The love: Handel festival is family-friendly, with young people encouraged to come and participate, with free tickets for Under 18s. Whilst this is a new festival, The Brook Street Band intends to develop it into a biennial event, which will grow towards a 4-day event within 6 years.
The core members of The Brook Street Band (Rachel Harris, Farran Scott, Tatty Theo and Carolyn Gibley) are joined by soprano Nicki Kennedy and flautist and recorder player Lisete da Silva Bull, who is also an experienced baroque dance tutor. Renowned author Louis de Bernières makes a guest appearance joining the Band for a reading from his play “Dining with George”, and discussing his musical heritage and interests. Musicologist Julie-Anne Sadie will join the Band in Handelian discussion.
love: Handel takes place over two days, with a variety of events spread over the weekend encompassing live performance, discussion, participatory events, and plenty of opportunities for socialising.
Tatty Theo says: “Handel was known for his many enthusiasms, most famously eating and drinking, and lively passionate discussion. So, we hope to encourage our own in homage to the great man, with plenty of birthday cake to celebrate the Band’s 20th anniversary!”
Day one includes 2 concerts, a dance session and a Q&A session with Louis de Bernières / Day two includes a vocal workshop, childrens’ participatory concert, talks and a finale concert.
All-female group, The Brook Street Band (www.brookstreetband.co.uk) (BSB) takes its name from the London street where composer George Frideric Handel lived from 1723-1759. The Band was formed in 1996 by baroque cellist Tatty Theo (granddaughter of the renowned cellist William Pleeth) and rapidly established itself as one of the UK’s leading Handel specialists, winning grants, awards and broadcasting opportunities from various organisations including BBC Radio 3 and the Handel Institute.