Second sell-out Mayfield Festival hits the right notes

editorial image

From Choral vespers to The King of Swing; from ceramics to Shakespeare - there’s culture, entertainment and straightforward enjoyment for every taste lined up next month for the second Mayfield Festival.

Director Jeremy Summerly said: “Planning a second festival is very different from planning one’s first. Two years ago I was on probation with the Festival committee; I was nudged gently in the right direction and, due to the effectiveness of people around me and also my immediate fondness for Mayfield, I found myself taking part in one of he most exciting events I had ever witnessed.”

The two week Festival starts triumphantly at St Dunstan’s Church with a St George’s Day Eucharist (Sunday, April 24) and Brahms’ Requiem that evening. In quick succession from late April to May 8 come Mozart, choral music, orchestral and chamber music leavened with folk and film music. The Festival ends in a blaze of glory with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Although the Festival focuses on classical music it paints on a broad canvas. A major innovation this year is Mayfield’s adoption of the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists competition with three days of heats culminating in a final on the Festival’s middle Sunday. Jeremy Summerly said: “It’s customary to gripe about falling standards in education and how the arts are going to the dogs but I can assure you where standards in classical music are conerned, youth is where it’s at. I can promise a kaleidoscope of young talent in this competition and predict the winner will become well known in the music world.”

Words count too. An evening with Roger Wright (April 25) sees the chief executive of Aldeburgh Music, former controller of both BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Proms talking to Jeremy Summerly. Syrinx: The Sweet Month of May (May 3) is when the historical wind ensemble plays music from the 14th to 18th centuries where it would have been heard everywhere from state occasions to the humblest village dance. They’ll perform music from Dufay and Josquin to Handel and Mozart on shawms, dulcians, oboes and bassoons. The Carnival Band (May 4) began life 25 years ago as an offshoot of The Medieval Players theatre company. Once nicknamed ‘Henry VIII’s Rock ‘n Roll Band’ their horizons have widened to include music from practically every continent (they’re still working on Antarctica) and every century since about 1200AD.

Mix in bellringing from the church tower, a Shakespeare Miscellany, Friday Night is Film Night, Erik Satie Vexations Revisited, May Carols from the Parvis Tower and the Oxford Baroque plus very much more.

Tickets are on sale from Ticket Source (0333 666 3366) or in person from Rosina Fabrics, High Street, Mayfield.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @sussex_express

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Sussex Express - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.