Music for Awhile

11.30am Sunday 10th October, East Mersea Church

Margaret Faultless and Dan Tidhar

In 1996 Simon Whistler and Margaret Faultless decided to celebrate their love of a tiny church in its magical setting with a concert. It brought together musicians of international standing to perform Baroque music on original instruments. The church was All Saints, Alton Priors and Music for Awhile was born.

The annual focus is still the acclaimed summer festival in the Vale of Pewsey and there are many other performances throughout the year, including a chamber series, which for many years was held at Conock Manor. Since 2004, support from the Cecil King Memorial Foundation has enabled the performance of nearly thirty concerts in churches, fundraising for the fabric of the buildings and promoting the music of J.S. Bach.

The Festival programmes have included performances of early English opera, masques and theatre music. Music for Awhilehas premiered new editions of manuscript material from the British Library, including a Masque by Daniel Purcell, and, together with actor Andrew Maud, has created new works combining music and poetry.

The performers are all principal musicians with international ensembles such as The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dunedin Consort, The English Concert, The Gabrieli Consort, The Monteverdi Choir, Phantasm, I Fagiolini and Glyndebourne Opera.

Music for Awhile also expands to form a larger orchestra performing choral works in venues such as Westminster Abbey, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford and Bristol Cathedrals, Sherborne Abbey and Bristol’s Colston Hall, and has recently appeared at the Three Choirs Festival in an all Mozart programme.

Education projects in schools as well events such as community workshops are an additional and vital part of Music for Awhile aim to encourage participation in music through performance and listening.