Penny Swings (aka Sarah and the String Syndicate): Sunday 29 May 2022 at 3 pm- refreshments from 2.15.

Seasoned musicians, Sebastian Tesouro, Benjamin Modley and James Rintoul, familiar to Westonzoyland audiences from past appearances, are joined by esteemed jazz singer Sarah Griffiths.

‘The concert will feature arrangements of the finest classic show tunes from the 20s and 30s,’ says Modley, ‘by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and many more of the greatest composers of the era.

‘Sarah has been singing Jazz and her own songs for 10 years, playing with some of the South West’s top musicians.’

Her background is in theatre and acting; she was in London’s West-End in various shows including Don’t Dress for Dinner at the Apollo and Duchess theatres.

‘Sarah loves to find the story behind the song and bring a little theatre to the stage,’ he says.

The line-up: Sarah Griffiths vocals, Sebastian Tesouro violin, Benjamin Modley Guitar, James Rintoul Bass.

There are currently no statutory requirements with regard to Covid. However, In accordance with the government guidance that the pandemic is not yet over, Music on the Levels is retaining the informal booking system and requests that audiences observe sensible precautions as a courtesy to each other and to help provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Refreshments (tea, coffee, choice of cakes) are available at a modest charge from 2.15 pm until the start of the concert.

In order to help with the artists’ and other costs a raffle is held. In addition donations are encouraged. It costs an average of £300 to put on a concert.

Those wishing to go to the Penny Swings are asked to contact Frank Challenger on 01278 699071 or email f.challenger@icloud.com  so that Music on the Levels can limit numbers if necessary.

. . . and a reminder of our April concert

Sally Jenkins enchanted the audience with compositions from women from the 18th century to the present day.

This time Sally plays compositions by women

Sally Jenkins playing at Westonzoyland in 2018

The next Music on the Levels free concert is on Sunday 24 April 2022 at 3 pm in St Mary’s Church, Main Road, Westonzoyland, TA7 0EP with a welcome return of renowned harpist, Sally Jenkins.

‘I’ll be presenting a concert of music written by female harpist-composers from the 19th century to the present day’, says Sally. ‘There will be a mix of different styles from folk, classical and jazz idioms.

‘I will bring just one harp this time so it’ll all be pedal harp music but I will talk a little bit about the pieces I’m going to play because the composers probably will be unknown to the audience.’

Asked about how she fared over the last two years, Sally thinks she has been very lucky because she was able to teach her students online.

‘In fact, it’s been really beneficial for many of my students, who have found having more time to focus on music during the lockdowns really therapeutic- and has given parents something for their children to get on with whilst they are desperately trying to juggle work with home schooling!’

However she is pleased that the performances have now started up again. ‘Such a relief to be back playing again.’

Sally has appeared in many prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

She is an experienced pedal and early triple harpist, and has also presented lecture-recitals on the history of the instrument including to the Royal Musicological Society. In developing her musical skills she has worked with some of the UK’s preeminent harpists from the Royal Ballet Orchestra, the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

As for arrangements regarding the Covid pandemic, there are currently, there are no statutory requirements with regard to Covid. However, In accordance with the government guidance that the pandemic is not yet over, Music on the Levels is retaining the informal booking system and requests that audiences observe sensible precautions as a courtesy to each other and to help provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Refreshments (tea, coffee, choice of cakes) are available at a modest charge from 2.15 pm until the start of the concert.

In order to help with the artists’ and other costs a raffle is held. In addition donations are encouraged. It costs an average of £300 to put on a concert.

Those wishing to go to the Sally Jenkins concert are asked to contact Frank Challenger on 01278 699071 or email f.challenger@icloud.com  so that Music on the Levels can limit numbers if necessary.

. . . . and a reminder of the previous concert

Jayne Freeman and Adam Piggott (Wildwood Jack) on 20 March

Wildwood Jack begin their European tour at Westonzoyland.

The next free concert is on Sunday 20 March 2022 at 3 pm in St Mary’s Church, Main Road, Westonzoyland, TA7 0EP with a welcome return of Wildwood Jack.

At Westonzoyland in October 2019

Wildwood Jack are a unique acoustic guitar and ukulele folk duo from Kent. With outstanding musicianship Jayne Freeman and Adam Piggott take their audiences on a musical journey filled with songs inspired by their ‘on the road’ adventures. The name Wildwood Jack was chosen to indicate the independent spirit of music that knows no boundaries and their troubadour lifestyle – they spend large parts of the year touring across the UK, Europe and New Zealand. 

Over the years the duo has gathered many favourable reviews, including:

‘This is an accomplished duo. Not only is the musicianship excellent, the vocal delivery is spot on’

Inventive Acoustic Folk & Roots

‘Stylish road stories from some true wandering minstrels. An amazing Thornsett Road House Concert from Wildwood Jack’

Frank Hennessy, BBC Radio Wales

‘Engaging, uplifting, filled with memorable melodies

and clever hooks’

 R2 Magazine

This will be the forth time they have performed at Music on the Levels. The last time, in October 2019, they had been performing in Italy and travelling the length and breadth of the UK to perform at over 40 venues. 

But not this time. ‘For most of the lockdown we were holed up in a small barn on the Lincolnshire/Leicestershire border,’ says Jayne.  ‘Our days were spent writing new songs including a song called Unfinished Song! They’re all finished now but not yet recorded, as we couldn’t get into our usual recording studio during lockdown – it’s in the Welsh Valleys!

‘Adam also wrote a novel about our first 2 years on the road so we kept ourselves busy with creative projects.’

Having made it through the last two years and determined to keep the music alive, these well travelled troubadours are now back out on the road again. They’re beginning their tour at Westonzoyland before they head off across England and Scotland with dates in Germany and Italy later this year, promoting their latest album Many More Ways Than One.

The latest arrangements regarding the Covid pandemic.

Currently, there are no statutory requirements with regard to Covid. However, In accordance with the government guidance that the pandemic is not yet over, we are retaining the informal booking system and request that audiences observe sensible precautions as a courtesy to each other and to help us provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone. And it also enables us to estimate the number of cakes to bake!

Refreshments (tea, coffee, choice of cakes) are available at a modest charge from 2.15 pm until the start of the concert.

In order to help with the artists’ and other costs a raffle is held. In addition donations are encouraged. It costs an average of £300 to put on a concert.’

Those wishing to go to the Wildwood Jack concert are asked to contact Frank Challenger on 01278 699071 or email f.challenger@icloud.com  so that Music on the Levels can limit numbers if necessary.

. . and a reminder of our last concert

Frome Baroque Consort

27 February concert: Frome Baroque Consort

For our next next free concert we present the Frome Baroque Consort on Sunday 27 February 2022, 3.00 pm in St Mary’s Church, Main Road, Westonzoyland, TA7 0EP.

Frome Baroque Consort, formed in 2016 to play the music of JS Bach and his contemporaries, has quickly established a reputation for lively and expressive performance of the Baroque repertoire on modern instruments.

Jacquelyn Bevan (on the right), the group’s founder, gives details of the programme being prepared for the concert in Westonzoyland: 

‘We shall introduce and play a varied selection of Baroque solo and trio sonatas, including works by Handel – the F major and D minor sonatas for 2 recorders, Telemann – his Oboe Sonata in A minor and an enchanting Trio Sonata in C major for 2 recorders, the movements of which are named after various female characters from Greek mythology.’

They will also perform the beautiful slow movement from Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor and a little-known sonata by Corbett with suitable improvisations in the Baroque manner. 

Two fine works by J S Bach  – his Gamba Sonata no.2 in D major and Trio Sonata in C major – complete the programme. 

Frome Baroque Consort comprises James Watts (oboe & recorder), Neil Moore (recorder), Linda Stocks (cello) and Jacquelyn Bevan (harpsichord).

They are part of a larger group, Bath Baroque. They perform at an annual concert at Frome Festival and at Ilminster Arts Centre, as well as giving concerts in rural churches across the South West.

http://www.trioparadis.com  http://www.musicianssouthwest.com

In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, there will be only a 10 minute interval for the benefit of the players, to avoid too much milling about.

However, we are providing refreshments (tea, coffee, choice of cakes) at a modest charge from 2.15 pm until the start of the concert.

And as a courtesy to each other and to help us provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for

everyone, we are encouraging the wearing of a face covering at least until seated, unless exempt for medical reasons. And there will be a QR code for checking in.

Finally, in order to help with the artists’ and other costs we are reinstating the raffle in addition to encouraging donations. It costs an average of £300 to put on a concert!

Those wishing to go to the Frome Baroque Consort concert are asked to contact Frank Challenger on 01278 699071 or email f.challenger@icloud.com  so that Music on the Levels can control numbers if necessary.

. . and a reminder of January’s concert:

David Mitchell and Graham Vincent took us on a musical journey round the British Isles.

Mitchell and Vincent on Sunday 30 January 2022, 3.00 pm

West Country-based David Mitchell and Graham Vincent are in great demand throughout the UK and abroad, playing a lively mix of traditional tunes, arranged by them for fiddle and classical guitar, covers of popular songs and original compositions.

They have performed at a whole variety of festivals, events and concerts around the UK, and as far afield as The Netherlands, which have included supporting Tim Edey, Archie Fisher MBE and Kate Rusby along the way – and this will be the forth time they have played at a Music on the Levels concerts.

David plays guitar (one he has made himself) while Graham provides the vocal as well as playing fiddle.  In an unusual coincidence they both trained as luthiers after they left school.

‘Yep, both of us wanted to spend our time making guitars’, says Graham, ‘Life, of course, always gets in the way somewhat and by the time our paths crossed we’d both retrained. I’d been designing furniture, then houses, got qualified and started running my own architectural practice. Dave had been to University and trained as a teacher.

‘Once music has a hold of you it doesn’t let go easily and Dave and I found ourselves playing together in a ceilidh band called Fiddlestix. ‘We realised we had very similar musical tastes and both wanted to spend a lot more time playing music, so we started a duo …’

Mitchell and Vincent have been described as:

‘Musicians who tell stories with their melodies’ (Wessex Folk Festival)

’At all times, the interplay between David Mitchell’s guitar and Graham Vincent’s fiddle is quite stunning.’ (Acoustic magazine)

‘A breath of fresh air . . . . . breath-taking music and performance.’ (CIC, Taunton)

‘Bringing the crowd to tears one moment and to their feet the next.’ (Lyme Folk Weekend).

The government has changed the regulations so it is not now compulsory to wear face coverings. However, as with the last concert, in order to keep everyone as safe as possible there will be no interval to avoid too much milling about.

Again, refreshments will not be provided on this occasion.

And as a courtesy to each other and to help us provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone, we are encouraging the wearing of a face covering at least until seated, unless exempt for medical reasons. And there will be a QR code for checking in.

Finally, in order to help with the artists’ and other costs we are reinstating the raffle in addition to encouraging donations. It costs an average of £300 to put on a concert!

Importantly, if you want to come to the concert, please contact me, Frank Challenger, on 01278 699071 or email f.challenger@icloud.com  so that we can control numbers if necessary.