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Steeple Ashton’s Independence Day Frolic

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A combined church organ concert and picnic in the Manor gardens – billed as a summer frolic – is to take place in Steeple Ashton on Saturday 4th July, American Independence Day, in aid of the village’s church preservation trust.

Peter King, Bath Abbey organist acclaimed as “a virtuoso of world class standing” (BBC Radio 3 CD Review), will showcase American organ music during a concert on the recently re-built Bryceson & Ellis organ in St Mary’s Church at 6.30pm, followed by an open house, bring-your-own picnic at the adjacent 17th Century Manor and its featured gardens.

Music by American composers from John Philip Sousa to Scott Joplin, from Dan Locklair to Arthur Foote, David N Johnson and Dudley Buck, will share the programme with 19th Century European composers such as Brahms and Liszt contemporary with the time the St Mary’s organ was built.

Included will be tunes played at the funeral of President Reagan (Locklair’s ‘Rubrics’) as well as the wedding of President Nixon’s daughter (Johnson’s ‘Trumpet Tune’). Sousa’s ‘Washington Post’ and ‘Liberty Bell’ will ring out alongside Joplin’s ‘Rag’, ‘The Entertainer’ and ‘Harmony Hall Waltz’, together with variations on Buck’s tear-jerker, ‘Home Sweet Home’.

The audience will be able to see the organist displayed on a large screen in the church.

This will be a return visit to Steeple Ashton for Peter King who gave a recital in the church early last year when he expressed his delight in the quality of sound from the organ, one of the finest in Wiltshire.

Tickets for the combined organ concert (centre aisles) and entry to the Manor gardens, with a welcoming glass of fizz and, as befitting the American theme, apple pie and cream to close the evening, cost £20 each. Tickets for the concert alone (side aisles) are offered at £10 each.

Picnic tables and chairs will be available on a first-come basis and wine for sale will also be available. Picnic set up from 5.30pm onwards.

Contact: 01380 870602, Aeberhard@btinternet.com