Bromsgrove Arts News

  • 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

  • Fri 2 Aug 2013

    TALENTED artist and art teacher Anne Scrimshaw is holding a demonstration in Wychbold.

    She will showcase her work at Hobbycraft Droitwich, based at Webbs garden centre, Wychbold, on Saturday, August 10 to publicise a new art class starting at Avoncroft Art Society in Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove.

    She will be demonstrating how to paint a self portrait from 10am to 4pm. The event is free and open to anyone in the store during the day.

    The new oil and acrylic painting evening class is open to all levels of ability and starts on Thursday, September 12th

    The courses, which will run each week from 7pm to 9pm for 13 weeks, cost £6 per class or £36 per half term block plus £16 annual membership to Avoncroft Art Society.

    The Avoncroft Art Society is located off the A38 in Stoke Heath.

    Anyone who would like more details can contact Anne Scrimshaw at ajscrimshaw [at] btinternet [dot] com, by calling 07803 931968 or at

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Thu 1 Aug 2013

    Bromsgrove band provides Samba sounds at the Olympic Stadium

    By editor [at] bromsgrovestandard [dot] co [dot] uk (Tristan Harris )Thursday 01 August 2013 Updated: 03/08 02:18

    Latest News

    Buy photos » Someone at the Door’s Kurt Moss who, at 12-years-old, is one of the band’s youngest members. s

    BROMSGROVE ARTS ALIVE MEMBERS, Samba band, Someone at the Door, took up the chance of a lifetime last weekend when they played live at Sainsbury's Anniversary Games.

    The members went down to the capital for the special event, which was held to mark one year on from London 2012.

    The band delighted the crowds at the Olympic Stadium during the three-day event, which ran from last Friday to Sunday (July 26 to 28).

    Chairman Adam Joyce said for a community Samba band from Bromsgrove to be playing the Olympic Stadium was absolutely unbelievable.

    "The band has been together for 15 years and has worked so hard to get to this point.

    "It was our first over-nighter together and it brought us all together socially as well as musically.

    "Playing the Olympic Stadium had a similar massive feelgood factor effect on Someone at the Door as London 2012 did on the whole country last year," he added.

    The band also officially launched its second CD 'Road to Rio' at the event which will soon be available on iTunes, along with their first CD Someone at the Door.

    For more on Someone at the Door, which meets between 6.45pm and 8.45pm every other Tuesday, visit

    Latest News
     Buy photos» Pete ‘Energiser Bunny’ Grimshaw leading the ‘Hip Hop’ groove. s
    Latest News
     Buy photos» The band doing the Usain Bolt ‘lightning’ pose. s
    Latest News

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 1 Aug 2013

    THE ANNUAL Bromsgrove Festival could be revamped to include the town's folk festival, Orchestra of St John MusicFest and a host other events, it has been announced.

    Plans for a new Bromsgrove community-wide arts festival have been mooted and those interested in being a part of it are being urged to go along to an open meeting at Avoncroft Museum's Guesten Hall at 7.30pm a week on Wednesday (August 14).

    A small group of interested parties have taken on the idea of reinvigorating The Bromsgrove Festival to include the wider Bromsgrove community.

    A drop in audiences and local interest in the Bromsgrove Festival in recent years has prompted the move and it is hoped individuals and groups from a variety of art genres will get involved and help reinvigorate it.

    Many have expressed feelings that the festival has placed too much emphasis on the classical arts and it is hoped by including a more varied programme it will appeal to the wider community.

    The objectives will still be to promote, maintain, improve and advance education and encourage more people to become part of the town's arts scene, whether it be music, singing, drama, mime, dance, painting or sculpture.

    One of the group Bob Bignell said: "It is anticipated that the new festival will follow the traditions of bringing the finest performers to Bromsgrove whilst, at the same time, involving local groups of performers and artists from all genres including performance and visual arts.

    "It is also hoped that people coming into the area for major events will be encouraged to stay longer to soak up an atmosphere enhanced by the many arts activities Bromsgrove has to offer.

    "Bromsgrove Arts Alive, the local umbrella group for local performers, artists, potters, jewellers, defines the arts as 'the conscious arrangement and production of colours, forms, movements, sounds, and all other elements used in a manner that affects our human senses'.

    "We want to extend that to the Bromsgrove Festival and make it as popular as it used to be."

    The meeting is open to all interested parties but should you have any queries or require more details please do not hesitate to contact Bob Bignell on 0121 476 5938 or email to bromsgrovefestival [at] live [dot] co .uk

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Thu 1 Aug 2013

    ENTHUSIASTIC actors, singers and dancers are being sought to star in a world-wide stage sensation.

    Jigsaw Players Theatre Company is looking for people to play the varied character parts in Honk, a musical sensation with a thought provoking social message and an excellent script.

    With music by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, this amateur production promises to be a highlight of the season.

    Auditions are being held at the Trinity Centre, Parish Hall, in Lickey, on Sunday, August 11 and Sunday, August 18 from 4pm to 7pm.

    A theatre company spokesman said: “We aim to reachout to all abilities and ages, we are an inclusive company where everyone is valued and appreciated.

    “There are plenty of exciting and varied roles available for adults, teens and children (ages eight onwards).”

    Anyone interested is being asked to come along and sing a song of their choice as well as read from the script and show some basic dance steps.

    Rehearsals will be on Sunday afternoons at Parkside Middle School plus a Tuesday evening for principle characters.

    The performances of Honk will be held at the Trinity Centre from December 9 to 14.

    For more information, call 07919505764 or email drama50 [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser