Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Tue 3 Jun 2014



    FESTIVAL FUN: Bromsgrove Festival is being relaunched to become a wider arts and cultural celebration.  

    THE countdown is well underway for the relaunched Bromsgrove Festival.

    Established in 1960, the festival has been run for more than 20 years as a celebration of mainly classical music by a council, led by Dr Mary White.

    Last year the Advertiser reported on a public meeting that was held to discuss the festival’s future and, from that, a new group was formed that has worked to relaunch the event, expanding it into a wider arts and cultural celebration.

    The festival is being held between June 14 and July 20.

    A full colour 40 page brochure, detailing some of the 80 diverse events being held over the five week period, has been published.

    The community aspect of the festival is reflected in the large number of established events - including Bandstand Sunday afternoons at Sanders Park, Bromsgrove Carnival, and Court Leet's Midsummer events - being brought under the festival umbrella.

    Bromsgrove's Artrix Theatre is playing a major role. The School Drive venue will also be hosting shows from Bromsgrove Operatic Society and Al and Sundry. It is also putting on an Artrix New Generation Festival, designed to engage young people in creative activities.

    A new organisation, Festive Classics, has been formed and has organised a series of lunchtime concerts at the Guesten Hall, Avoncroft Museum. Continuing Mary White's legacy, classical musical will still feature prominently with performances from Barnt Green Choral Society and the Orchestra of St John.

    Bromsgrove Folk Club has organised the 23rd annual folk festival featuring a number of folk artists.

    Exhibitions include Waseley Hills Craft Fair, Bromsgrove Art Society's All Saints exhibition, Avoncroft Arts Society and Hanbury Countryside Show.

    The festival is being officially opened by Bromsgrove MP, the recently appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid at an opening gala at the Artrix.

    The gala is being held on Saturday, June 14, and includes a reception and a full showcase performance compered by members of Madcap Theatre and featuring All and Sundry, Bromsgrove Operatic Society, The Orchestra of St John, Bromsgrove Folk Club and Blackwell Concert Band. The evening will be rounded off with dancing in the marquee to the live sounds of Big Steve and the Bo's.

    Bob Bignell, vice chairman at Bromsgrove Festival, said: "Under the tag line 'try something new' the festival includes many diverse events showcasing the depth of talent in Bromsgrove and surrounding areas at the same time as continuing the previous philosophy of featuring national and international performers."

    Tickets for the gala can be purchased at Artrix box office by calling 01527 577330 or visit

    For more details on the festival, or for copies of the festival brochure, visit

    Copies of the brochure have also been made available at the Artrix, Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, Bromsgrove Library and many shops, pubs and clubs.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Mon 2 Jun 2014

    TOWNSFOLK are being invited to a special exhibition being held at Bromsgrove Library.

    In 2013 the Norton Collection Trust acquired 2,700 glass negatives and 180 hand-drawn original Bromsgrove Guild designs from 1900 to 1914.

    A collection of these have now been put on display at Bromsgrove Library, in Stratford Road.

    The trust's exhibition, on behalf of Dennis Norton, will be at the library for the next four weeks.

    The guild was a company of modern artists and designers associated with the arts and crafts movement, founded by Walter Gilbert.

    It worked in various mediums including metal, wood and glass.

    Among its most famous works are the main gates of Buckingham Palace, and Liverpool's Liver Birds. The exhibition features an impressive image of one of the Liver Birds being constructed.

  • Mon 26 May 2014

    ONE of Shakespeare's most popular plays is being performed at a Bromsgrove church.

    The Friend of St John's Committee has organised for The Festival Players from Gloucestershire to perform at St John's Church, in Kidderminster Road, on Friday, June 13.

    The Festival Players are a professional touring company of seven actors who play multiple roles, requiring quick costume changes, as well as musicians. Michael Dyer, the former director of Cornwall's Minack Open Air Theatre, is the company's artistic director.

    The touring company will be performing Shakespeare favourite Macbeth, which was first performed at The Globe Theatre in 1611.

    Michael said: "It is one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful plays and his shortest tragedy.

    "It takes the audience on a roller coaster ride from a ‘blasted heath’ to a Scottish castle and a moving forest.

    "Three weird and mysterious sisters, a ghost-ridden banquet, murder, prophecies, visions and spells all meld together in a swirling cauldron of seat-edge drama.”

    Friend’s chairman Jo Slade said: “We are very excited to host Macbeth.

    “We're delighted that the event has been included in this year's Bromsgrove Festival, in fact it is the first event of the festival, taking place the night before the launch.”

    Tickets cost £15 each, which are available from the Artrix Box Office by calling 01527 577330 or visit

    Doors open at 7pm, ahead of a 7.30pm start.

    Friends of St John’s raise funds to support the ongoing maintenance and restoration needs at the historic Bromsgrove church.

    For more on the committee join the FriendsStJohnsBromsgrove Facebook group, or follow @FriendsStJohns.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser 

  • Thu 22 May 2014

    A BROMSGROVE church needs an organist and choir trainer.

    All Saints' Church, in Burcot Lane, is inviting experienced organists, students and pianists to apply.

    Services are held regularly on Sundays, one evening service a month, with a weekly choir practice, plus covering weddings and funerals.

    For more details, or to apply, call churchwarden Mike Carrick on 01527 873135, or email mike [dot] carrick [at] zen [dot] co [dot] uk.

  • Tue 15 Apr 2014

    ORGANISERS interested in being part of the relaunched Bromsgrove Festival are being told they can still apply to have their event included in online publicity.

    The Bromsgrove Festival brochure has been finalised and is expected to hit the streets soon, but new events can still be included on the festival website and Bromsgrove Arts Alive website.

    Established in 1960, the festival has been run for more than 20 years, and last year the Advertiser reported that a new group was formed which will relaunch the event, expanding it into a wider arts and cultural celebration.

    Copies of the brochure can be picked up at the Artrix, Avoncroft Museum, local libraries, shops and coffee houses as well as at the various venues where events are scheduled to take place.

    With nearly 80 events planned during the festival, ranging from folk music and visual arts to street performances and dance displays it promises to be a very busy summer in the town.

    Contact info [at] bromsgrovefestival [dot] co [dot] uk to have any further festival events to be publicised online.

  • Fri 21 Mar 2014

    A CONCERT featuring local band The Quik will take place at Bromsgrove's Artrix at 7.30pm on Thursday (March 27) to raise Latest Newsfunds for SADS UK.

    The event is being managed by second year music technology students from NEW College who chose the charity because it was locally formed and had links to the college after it donated defibrillators for each of the campuses.

    SADS UK funds research into Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome and provides equipment such as heart monitors, event recorders and defibrillators to save lives.

    A spokesperson from the charity said it was very grateful to the students.

    Tutor Angie Keogh said: "It’s exciting for the students to gain the experience of working with a real charity and band (The Quik) to produce what will be a great night of mod music."

    Second year student Kate Rose is the events manager for the night.

    She said: "The Quik are great supporters of SADS and will give a great evening of entertainment. It’s going to be hard work, but worth it."

    Tickets re £6 each from Artrix at oR by calling 01527 577330 and all funds raised will go to SADS UK.


  • Thu 20 Mar 2014

    ABOUT 150 Hagley residents, parish councillors and county councillor Rachel Jenkins attended a meeting in a bid to Latest Newssafeguard the future of the village’s library.

    People packed into St Saviours Church for the get together, organised by Hagley Parish Council, after it was told by the county council’s library service that funding would be cut by 40 per cent.

    Worcestershire County Council’s library service asked Hagley Parish Council to take over the yearly running costs of the building, which equates to between £10,000 and £15,000 per year.

    Officers gave a presentation on how they envisaged changes could be implemented and asked for community volunteers to come forward to work alongside library staff to reduce staffing costs further.

    Villagers claimed they were being asked to pay twice for the same service and the parish council suggested the best solution would be for residents to pay £5 per year per average household to save the library.

    Residents also questioned why payments had not been requested by local housing developers.

    Hagley Parish Council also announced as part of a strategic village plan for the future, the library could be incorporated into a new community hub, along with other services, depending on funding from a number of sources.

    Vanessa Payne, from Hagley Primary School, one of two village headteachers who attended the meeting, said it would be a ‘devastating loss’ to more than 700 children from the school if the library could not be saved.

    Peter Rowbottom from Hagley Residents Action Group (HRAG) said: “This meeting is only the starting point of the battle to save the library and we would encourage anyone who was unable to voice an opinion at the meeting to contact the parish council with their ideas or be added to the list of potential volunteers.”

    He added there were lots of complicated issues with the hub plan and said the only chance of producing a comprehensive action plan was by working together and supporting the parish council and by contributing feedback, ideas and offering skills that could help.

    Those wanting to be actively involved could email teamhagley [at] hagleyresidents [dot] co [dot] uk.

    Coun Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member the Libraries and Learning Service, said: “We are very encouraged by the reception to the plans for Hagley Library, discussed at the parish meeting last week which should result in the library staying open.

    “We don’t want to close the library, reduce the level of service, have less books or have so few staff that opening hours have to be reduced.

    “We are confident we can avoid compulsory redundancies.

    “However we do have to reduce our costs and we are pleased that our work with Hagley Parish Council and the local community will enable us to do that.”

    She added the next stage was for the county council to work with the parish council to put together a proposal which sees the parish council take on the responsibility of the premises, whilst the library would still be run by the Libraries and Learning Service.”


  • Tue 4 Feb 2014

    Latest NewsTHE FIRST draft of the new-look Bromsgrove Festival, which will run from June 14 to July 20, has been revealed by the organisers.

    The extravaganza features a comprehensive and wide-ranging list of events and so far includes productions, concerts, exhibitions and events from both local groups and some further afield.

    Among the chosen venues are Artrix, Grafton Manor, St John’s Church and Avoncroft Museum.

    But, there are still opportunities for organisations and individuals to add their own event into the programme and become part of a celebration aimed at showcasing all that is vibrant about the Bromsgrove arts scene.

    A spokesperson for the new-look Bromsgrove Festival said: "The established tradition of excellence will be maintained whilst at the same time ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy."

    Children and young people are being encouraged to get involved in Artrix's New Generation Festival, which will coincide with the main event. That will be specifically aimed at providing a stage for younger artists and performers to shine on and shows which interest younger audiences.

    Those looking to find out more about the Bromsgrove Festival can visit and anyone wanting an event in the programme or to discuss, staging and promoting, can email //info [at] bromsgrovefestival [dot] co [dot] uk">info [at] bromsgrovefestival [dot] co [dot] uk

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Fri 24 Jan 2014

    A FILM produced by students at NEW College as a learning tools for healthcare professionals, has been given additional funding to be developed into a national online resource.

    ‘Stand by Me’ was produced by HND Media Production students at the college in 2011 as a commissioned project from the NHS, and it was intended for use as part of a learning resource for trainers, trainees and healthcare professionals, to help them better communicate with people living with dementia.

    Since then the film has gone on to be nominated for a National Learning on Screen award, and receive positive feedback from the thousands of practitioners using it in surgeries, homes, care homes, hospitals, training sessions and universities across the West Midlands.

    As a result the Department of Health has approved a large budget to develop ‘Stand by Me’ as a national online resource, which will be produced by NEW College along with the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies, and Skills of Health in London.

    The new project will use current foundation degree Media Production students to re-edit the video material, and it is due to be launched in January of next year.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Wed 20 Nov 2013
    Suzanne Bryan-Williams, Joanne Wright, Diane Baker, Eunice Wright, and Jean WisemanSuzanne Bryan-Williams, Joanne Wright, Diane Baker, Eunice Wright, and Jean Wiseman

    THE Christmas season will be well under way by the time the Primrose Choir puts on its annual Christmas concert this year.

    The festive themed concert will take place at the Spadesbourne Suite in Bromsgrove and the choir will again be joined by youngsters from Astwood Bank First School.

    A choir spokesman said: “The school has charmed and delighted us in previous years and has produced remarkable music under the guidance of their conductor, Joe George.

    “Roger Powell is again master of ceremonies and can be relied upon to bring out all the fun of this very popular concert.”

    All money raised from the concert will go toward the Primrose Hospice, an independent local charity offering advice and support to cancer patients and their families.

    It is on Friday, December 13 starting at 7pm.

    Tickets cost £9 and are available from 01527 67383 and 01527 546158 or from any member of the choir.

    For more information, visit

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser