Something for everyone at this year’s Saddleworth Festival of the Arts

THERE IS something for everyone at this year’s Saddleworth Arts Festival from jazz, comedy, classical music and exhibitions to open gardens, guided walks, a ceilidh and much more.

The outstanding array of international, national and local talent will be on offer from June 9 – 13 at various venues across the area.

This year sees the 800th anniversary of St Chad’s Church and to mark the occasion there will be a world premiere from composer Peter Martin of a Suite of Saddleworth Festival Dances.

Ruby Turner

They will form part of an evening of music inspired by the English countryside including ‘The Lark Ascending’ by Vaughan Williams, pieces by Delius and finishing with Walton’s rousing ‘Spitfire Prelude and Fugue’, all performed by the Northern Chamber Orchestra in Saddleworth Church.

If your feet tap to the music of Andre Rieu then you’ll enjoy a magical evening from the New London Opera Players and the Parry Ensemble who will transport you to the banks of the Blue Danube and the Vienna Woods for waltzes, polkas and opera from Die Fleidermaus, the Student Prince and The Merry Widow.

More foot tapping music is provided with A Duke Ellington Jazz Night at the White Hart, Lydgate, when Alan Barnes, singer Anita Wardell and the Chris Holmes Trio will bring to life the music of a jazz legend.

Ruby Turner and her Band are sure to raise the roof of Uppermill Civic Hall with their brand of soul and rhythm and blues.

Meanwhile, a ceilidh with the popular Legplaiters at Uppermill Civic Hall will be an opportunity for a family night of fun and dancing for all to join in.

Tasmin Little’s concert is one of the classical music highlights when this internationally renowned violinist will perform Beethoven sonatas accompanied by Martin Roscoe on the piano.

SMITH Arthur 2 HR Credit Andy Warrington (2)
Arthur Smith (Picture thanks to Andy Warrington)

Local societies will be adding their talents to the mix as Saddleworth Male Voice Choir will perform with Wynne Evans, one of the UK’s most exciting tenors, while Saddleworth Musical Society will celebrate British music in a programme which includes a concert version of Iolanthe.

Comedy is not forgotten and will be provided by Arthur Smith, the well-known grumpy old man and connoisseur of Leonard Cohen songs who will be setting the world to rights.

Afternoon events include award-winning writer and poet Simon Armitage who will read and discuss his work.

Of interest to gardeners will be a talk by the Director of Oxford Botanical Garden, Timothy Walker, who will enlighten and amuse with his ‘Tales from a Small Garden – On Top but never in Control’, the story of how he helped create his wife’s garden.

And Saddleworth’s glorious countryside can also be enjoyed in a selection of open gardens, guided walks and a fell race.

For a full list of events visit

Book online or phone 0330 004 0014 (Mon & Thurs 2-4pm, Wed 7-9pm, Sat 10am-noon) or buy tickets in person at Uppermill Civic Hall on Sat 10am-noon.


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