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Thornbury Arts Festival

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Sunday 8th March 2020

8-15th Mar: Thornbury Eisteddfod

Since the 1980s Thornbury Eisteddfod, as part of Thornbury Arts Festival, has provided a platform for young performers (from 5 to 21 years of age), who enjoy, drama, singing and playing musical instruments.

This is a very inclusive festival, designed to encourage young people of all abilities. There are classes in Woodwind, Brass, Strings, Piano, Voice, Ensembles and Speech and Drama.

The dates for the Eisteddfod 2020 are as follows:

Sunday 8 March
Brass, Woodwind & Strings
Piano, Keyboard & Family Groups*

Tuesday 10 March
Choirs & Orchestras, Mixed Ensembles

Saturday 14 March
Speech & Drama

Sunday 15 March
Vocals

*Saturday afternoon 7 March has been reserved for additional... Read more >>

thornburyartsfestival.com/eistedd...


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Thornbury Arts Festival

Alistair McGowan to make an impression at Thornbury Arts Festival

Impressionist, actor and stand-up comic Alistair McGowan will bring his more recently developed skills as a pianist to this year’s Thornbury Arts Festival as part of a new UK tour.

The Piano Show mixes classical music with comedy and impressions and is set to be one of the highlights of the annual festival, which runs from April 24-May 2.

Alistair’s re-discovery of the piano at the age of 49 led to a debut album, which topped the classical music charts.

He will entertain a festival audience by talking and playing his way through pieces from the likes of Chopin, Grieg and Debussy to Philip Glass and Yann Tiersen, blending music with his trademark impressions.

Volunteers running the festival have also booked Los Pacaminos, fronted by singer-songwriter Paul Young, for an evening of foot-stomping Tex-Mex music.

Formed in 1992 when pop star Paul had some down-time, Los Pacaminos today continues to be one of the UK’s most popular live touring bands.

The musicians will appear during the first weekend of the festival, with cop-turned-comedian Alfie Moore performing the first night show in the Armstrong Hall.

Alfie’s 18 years on the beat provided him with a wealth of “you couldn’t make it up” stories and he has appeared numerous times at the Edinburgh Fringe, while his BBC Radio 4 show It’s a Fair Cop is a hit with listeners.

Other events include a murder mystery created on the spot in an improvised performance by Bristol-based Degrees of Error theatre company and an on-stage interview with postman-turned-Cabinet member and best selling author Alan Johnson.

Jazz singer Cate Cody and classical music ensemble the Vesta Trio will also be in concert, while lunchtime talks will feature guests such as David Slater, the photographer at the centre of a legal fight over a macaque monkey selfie picture, and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor and designer John Richardson.

Senior model maker Will Harding from Bristol’s Aardman Animations - creators of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep - has also been signed up to give a talk on the studio’s work, to be followed by the screening of two 30-minute films, Farmer’s Llamas and A Grand Day Out.

Meanwhile, a popular Sunday stroll to discover the history and features of a local area will return, this time taking festival-goers to Chepstow.

Tickets are set to go on sale in February. The programme of events will appear on this page, on the festival website www.thornburyartsfestival.org.uk and in guides to be distributed around the town and surrounding area.

About Thornbury Arts Festival

Thornbury Arts Festival runs for ten days every Spring - see the calendar for full details of events near the time.

The Arts Festival came into being in 1969 with varied programmes of events covering music, drama, film and comedy, as well as visual arts.

Signatures in the archive album range from an astronaut, an explorer, radio and television personalities and actors, writers and scientists as well as Big Bands, singers and musicians.

The programme also includes lunchtime talks and entertainment, children’s events including an Eisteddfod for music and drama, a village walk and The Severn Vale Art Trail.

As one of the longest running arts festivals in the country, the Thornbury event is run entirely by volunteers and boasts a mix of daytime and evening events to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

More details are available on the Arts Festival website www.thornburyartsfestival.org.uk - and also the facebook page.

Pre-Festival Event: Thornbury Eisteddfod

Thornbury Arts Festival

In 1989, Thornbury Arts Festival decided to introduce a pre-Festival Eisteddfod with 30 classes for local instrumentalists and vocalists aged 18 and under.

It was held over two days at the Castle School and Manorbrook Junior School, sponsored by the Lions – and attracted several hundred young people.

This event is still generously sponsored by the Lions Club of Thornbury.

Over the years there have been changes - now most of the classes are held in the peaceful setting of The Whitson Hall, thanks to the hospitality of The Hatch Community and in St. Mary’s Church - but over the years many local schools, halls and churches have been host to the Eisteddfod.

For further information about this very worthwhile and enjoyable event for the young people of Thornbury and the surrounding districts, please look at the Festival website – www.thornburyartsfestival.org.uk.

Any queries can be addressed to Kate Phillipson-Masters by email:

Severn Vale Art Trail

The Severn Vale Art Trail represents the visual side of Thornbury Arts Festival but takes place just after the Arts Festival.

The trail has become an annual event running over the early May Bank for a period of up to 10 days.

Thornbury Arts Festival

The Trail consists of a number of group exhibitions, together with many individual artists, displaying their work in and around Thornbury and neighbouring towns and villages in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. Most venues are open from 10am-4pm.

This Art Trail is a wonderful opportunity for the public to access and view the work of established and new artists across the Severn Vale area.

Art works range from watercolour and oil paintings to photographic prints, enamel and glass work, jewellery, basket weaving, pottery and wood carving.

Visitors have the opportunity to talk with the artists about their work and buy high quality art at affordable prices.

A Showcase Exhibition offers a taste of art that can be viewed on the trail, and brochures of the trail, with maps and venue locations, are available each year at Thornbury Town Hall and numerous other outlets.

For enquiries contact Eryl Daniels (Thornbury Arts Festival) 01454-419688 or email: .

You can also visit our virtual gallery: www.thornburyartsfestival.org.uk/severn-vale-arts-trail

History of Thornbury Eisteddfod

In 1989, Thornbury Arts Festival decided to introduce a pre-Festival Eisteddfod with 30 classes for local instrumentalists and vocalists aged 18 and under.

It was held over two days at the Castle School and Manorbrook Junior School, sponsored by the Lions and attracted several hundred young people.

Over 25 years on, Daphne Ashton, who helped to set up the Eisteddfod, is still an active member of the team and the event is still generously sponsored by the Lions.

Since 1989, thousands of young people have participated in this wonderful event and many have gone on to make music a central part of their lives, sometimes professionally.

Watching the development of vocalists and instrumentalists year on year has been one of the delights experienced by those who have been involved in the Eisteddfod in the past 25 years.

Over the years there have been changes – now most of the classes are held in the peaceful setting of The Whitsun Hall, thanks to the hospitality of The Hatch Community and in St Mary's Church, but over the years many local schools, halls and churches have been host to the Eisteddfod itself and to the Eisteddfod Concert, which has always been the culmination of the hard work put in by participants and the volunteers who run this worthwhile event.

Classes have changed – some taken out, others added and over a hundred adjudicators have come along to encourage and advise young musicians and vocalists.

The age range has been extended and in 2001, Speech and Drama classes were added, enthusiastically attended by budding thespians.

Originally the Eisteddfod was organised by The Festival Committee but the considerable demands of the administration led to the formation of a sub-committee of hardworking volunteers.


Forthcoming events

Sunday 8th March 2020

Friday 20th March 2020

Friday 24th April 2020


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