Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Wed 20 Nov 2013
    ENSEMBLE ENTERTAINERS: Ensemble Amaranthos will be appearing at Bromsgrove Concerts latest event this November. Ref:sENSEMBLE ENTERTAINERS: Ensemble Amaranthos will be appearing at Bromsgrove Concerts latest event this November.

    A NEW music group is set to appear at the latest concert organised by a Bromsgrove club.

    Ensemble Amaranthos will be appearing at Bromsgrove Concerts’ event, being held at the Artrix, in School Drive, on Friday, November 29.

    The group will be taking the audience on a musical tour of Europe in the 18th century, which includes the music of composers from France, Italy and Spain.

    Janet Upward, Bromsgrove Concerts chairman, said: “Ensemble Amaranthos is a lively new group whose enjoyment of the music they play communicates itself to their audiences.

    “We are looking forward to an entertaining and rewarding evening of live music making”.

    Tickets cost £17, £3 for concessions. Under 25s go free.

    To book a ticket visit the Artrix’s website,, or call the box office on 01527 577330

  • Mon 11 Nov 2013


    TOWNSFOLK are invited to the latest in a series of talks being held by the Bromsgrove Society.

    The local history group of the society is holding the talk on The Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, at the Methodist Centre in Stratford Road, from 7.45pm this Tuesday, November 19.

    The talk is being given by Gerald Lesinski.

    For more details visit the society’s website,

  • Thu 7 Nov 2013

    Latest NewsA DRINKS reception was held at Bromsgrove’s Artrix to thank the centre’s 75 volunteers for their hard work and to unveil the future fund-raising plans for the centre for the next decade.

    Around 50 people went along to the event on Monday (November 4) to celebrate those who gave up their time to ensure events at the venue ran smoothly.

    With regard to funding, a ten-year agreement with Bromsgrove District Council to provide Artrix with an annual grant of £120,000 will be reviewed in 2015 and it is thought, due to increased economic pressures on the authority, it could come to an end.

    That cash makes up 14 per cent of Artrix’s income and has been used to pay for variety of programmes, community events and activities, as well as the building’s upkeep. Bosses at the arts centre want to make sure plans are in place if that cash is no longer available.

    A fund-raising campaign was launched in the summer, which focuses on the centre serving the community more than ever before.

    The charity will be vying to improve its existing support for the outreach and community activities, along with its work with promising artists which has already helped Artrix thrive in last few years despite the economic climate. Last year alone, the venue welcomed more than 100,000 visitors from across the country.

    Creative director Andy Woods (pictured above with Dorothy Wilson, Chair of the Trustees) said Artrix had been lucky in being able to attract talented performers who enabled the venue to put on some outstanding productions.

    He added the centre would focus on making the most out of its available resources so it could offer an even bigger range of events, activities and services.

    And he said Artrix would strive to carry on producing smaller productions which appealed to niche audiences, as well as the big shows which attracted large crowds.

    The centre is run by three full-time and 12 part-time members of staff who are well-supported by the 75 invaluable volunteers.

    Dorothy Wilson, chair of the board of trustees, said: “We want people to be a part of Artrix - if you enjoy what Artrix does and want to help it on its way, we would like you to publicise it and tell your friends.”

    A special thanks was also given to the district council, NEW College and all the members from the community for their support over the last eight and half years in helping Artrix ‘change the landscape of artistic provision in Bromsgrove and the surrounding areas’.

    Anybody who wants to find out more about Artrix can call 01527 577330 or visit

    To help it with funding and fund-raising, call 01527 752730.



  • Tue 29 Oct 2013

    NEW LIBRARY: Artists’ impressions of the new Bromsgrove Library have been produced. Ref:sTOWNSFOLK are being encouraged to attend an event offering more details about the new Bromsgrove Library (Artrist's impression - see picture)

    The open event is taking place between 2-7pm this Monday, November 4, at the town library in Stratford Road.

    The moving of the library into the former Parkside Middle School building, in Stourbridge Road, is part of a larger scheme to create a one-stop shop of council services at the site.

    The scheme includes a new Civic Centre for Bromsgrove District Council, office accommodation for Worcestershire County Council staff based in the town and the relocation of the Registration Service and Bromsgrove Customer Service Centre.

    Those attending will have the chance to view designs for the inside of the new library, as well as the external images.

    Residents will also have the chance to take a look at the architects briefs and council officers will be on hand to explain the designs and answer questions.

    Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member for localism and communities, said: "We are very excited at the architects designs for the new Bromsgrove Library and wider Parkside development.

    “I encourage as many local people as possible to come along to the event on Monday, November 4, to take a look at the designs for the library and take the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

    "The overall plans for the former school site are ambitious and will enable us to locate a number of services and organisations in a single building, increasing access and convenience for residents and delivering savings for partners."

  • Tue 22 Oct 2013

    SPOOK-TACULAR Halloween horror events are set to return to Bromsgrove’s Avoncroft Museum.

    Fun and frights are on offer for those brave enought to walk the historic site this half-term.

    During daylight hours from Tuesday, October 29 to Thursday, October 31 there will be Halloween-themed activities. Visitors can make a lantern with the help of expert pumpkin carvers, can have a go at craft activities and also solve the Halloween quiz trail.

    There are scares and sweets aplenty for those brave enough to walk the grounds after dark and join the trick or treating amongst the historic buildings on Saturday, October 26, Sunday, October 27 and Thursday, October 31, when gates creak open at 6.30pm.

    Very young or timid visitors are advised to book on tours running before 7.30pm, which are slightly less scary. Places can be booked by calling 01527 831363.

    For more information visit

    Reprimted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advetiser

  • Sat 28 Sep 2013

    The Orchestra of St John, including conductor Richard Jenkinson and soprano Claire Prewer, are performing A Night at the Opera. Ref:sA BROMSGROVE orchestra is promising a night of humour and drama at an event being held this September.

    The Orchestra of St John is performing A Night at the Opera, at St John’s Church on Saturday, September 28, from 7.30pm.

    The event features music from some of the greatest operas ever written.

    Among the favourites the audience will be able to enjoy are Verdi’s La Traviata, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Magic Flute, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and various work from Wagner including Tannhauser,Gotterdammerung and Tristan and Isolde.


    The Orchestra of St John, including conductor Richard Jenkinson and soprano Claire Prewer, are performing A Night at the Opera. Ref:sThe orchestra will be conducted by Richard Jenkinson (above) and will feature soprano Claire Prewer (left) and baritone Ian Bell.

    Tickets cost £10 while accompanied children go free.

    The ticket price includes a programme and a glass of wine or juice in the interval.

    Tickets can be booked at St John’s Parish Office on 01527 878801 or 01527 870048, or will be available on the door from 6.30pm.

    For more on the orchestra visit

  • Fri 6 Sep 2013

    The Avoncroft Art Society

    AN art group that has been going for almost 70 years is showing no signs of slowing down.

    In fact The Avoncroft Art Society, officially 67-years-old, is going from strength to strength and has more than 250 members.

    The society, based at the Avoncroft Art Centre, near Morrison’s and the Hanbury Turn pub, runs a number of diverse classes such as art, French, yoga, pottery workshops and its longest running class - the Avoncroft Folk Dance Group.

    However, despite running packed classes and workshops five days a week for more than half a century, it appears not everyone is aware of the society.

    A spokesman from the group said: “Many people (even local people who have lived in Bromsgrove a long time) have said, on discovering the location of the centre, that they did not know who we were or that we even existed.”

    “But here we are and here we stay.”

    The society was formed just after the Second World War as an off-shoot from the Avoncroft Agricultural College, based at a house nearby formally owned by the Droitwich Salt King, John Corbett.

    In the early days the society provided extra-curricular activities for the students at the college.

    Cadbury’s, the chocolate manufacturers, where very deeply involved with the college and even after the Government of the day ceased to support the college, the society continued, supported by George Cadbury and the Croft Trust and more recently, the Bournville Village Trust.

    The art centre comprises five buildings including Avoncroft Pre-school Nursery and a main hall which boasts the only sprung dance floor in the town.

    It is home to other local groups such as the Bromsgrove Amateur Radio Club, Bromsgrove Photographic Society and Stoke Parish Council.

    The spokesman added that even with the society going from strength to strength more members would be welcome.

    For more information on the society or any of the classes, call 01527 833829 or visit

    Reprinted by kind perrmission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Thu 5 Sep 2013

    RESIDENTS are being offered the chance to develop a new interest or skill as part of a series of new courses especially for adults.

    The courses, organised by Workers Educational Association (WEA), start this month and are run in Droitwich Community Hall, St Godwald’s Church in Bromsgrove and the Sandycroft Wellbeing Centre and Winyates Craft Centre in Redditch.

    They cover basic skills and communication, personal development such as being more confident, wellbeing, which includes an introduction to counselling, and creativity which covers art and drama.

    For more information including dates and times, contact WEA, the UK’s largest voluntary provider of adult education, on 01905 330123 or visit

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Thu 15 Aug 2013

    Our region is well-blessed with amateur orchestras, several of them playing

    to professional standards, and among the most recent is the Orchestra of St

    John, launched in Bromsgrove less than two years ago and already building

    a huge following. And loyalty from its players, too.

    Several faces are familiar from the big boys (Birmingham Philharmonic and

    Chandos Symphony), but this is surely a tribute to the enthusiasm of

    musicians who are so keen to perform - and the catalyst here at OSJ is the

    desire to respond to the musicianship of conductor Richard Jenkinson.

    As front-desk cellist in the CBSO, Jenkinson has observed some of the

    world’s greatest conductors from the closest of quarters, but his conducting

    technique is all his own. The great Finnish conducting teacher Jorma

    Panula (Oramo and Salonen among his pupils) would surely approve, his

    tenet being "find your own way". And Jenkinson's way is to crouch, leap,

    sway and swoon; a distraction perhaps to the audience, but all the work has

    been done in rehearsal, which his players adore.

    Sunday's programme, the climax of a weekend festival, programmed three

    orchestral biggies, beginning with Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. This

    was a Germanically dark interpretation, conveyed by rich, well-defined

    strings, sonorous, well-rounded brass (how good to have experienced

    blowers to temper any noisy wannabes), and well-balanced woodwind


    Mozart's wonderful Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola was

    remarkable for the alert listening of the orchestra as it accompanied the

    soloists (Paul Barritt and Louise Williams) through this tremendous score.

    Jenkinson's opening movement stressed the majesty rather than the feathery

    etherealness, but throughout the work musicality flowed through and


    The soloists were well-blended and efficient, Barritt delivering a sweet tone,

    Williams spectacularly mellow on her 400-year-old viola.

    Then came the test for any orchestra, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

    Jenkinson hurled the opening into the cosmos (one way of doing it), but

    there were subsequent imprecisions of ensemble, and indeed a few false


    There were probably more at the premiere in 1808. What cannot be denied

    was the passion from all concerned in this performance, and whatever its

    faults, it brought this masterpiece alive again to at least one old listener.

  • Fri 9 Aug 2013

    CAPITAL PERFORMANCE: Bromsgrove-based samba band were chosen to perform at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games. Ref:sCAPITAL PERFORMANCE: Bromsgrove-based samba band were chosen to perform at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games. Ref:s

    A POPULAR Bromsgrove-based samba band entertained the crowds at a recent prestigious event marking the anniversary of the London Olympics.

    Someone at the Door is a group of local musicians who regularly meet at South Bromsgrove High School to practise.

    Group organisers were approached to perform at the spectator’s village of the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games, held in the Olympic village.

    In July more than 40 band members from the town travelled and performed five sets at the event, supported by jugglers, stilt walkers and magicians.     
    It was the biggest event the group had ever performed at.

    Band member Maurice Preece described the band’s appearance at the event, which was attended by 60,000 spectators, as spectacularly memorable, and a wonderful experience overall.

    After performing, the band members were given the opportunity to watch the Saturday evening athletics, which featured amazing performances from Mo Farah and Usain Bolt.

    The event came at a busy time for the band as it has now released its second CD, Road to Rio, which follows the success of the band’s self-titled first CD of samba recordings.

    Both CDs are available on iTunes.

    For more details visit