Line-up 2015

Marksbury School Singers

Marksbury C of E Primary School Singers

Music to open the festival

The festival will open with singers from Marksbury C of E Primary School, conducted by Kathleen Still.

The children participate in singing throughout the primary age range, with music including worship and secular songs as part of a variety of school topics and events. The programme will reflect this, containing songs from different genres.

Kathleen Still leads whole-school singing at Marksbury, and recognises that singing is a powerful vehicle for learning, building confidence and self-esteem. She continues to be involved with the 'Sing Up' programme, which aims to place singing at the heart of school life.

John Taylor

Guitar Recital

'I grew up in a mining village with several chapels and no guitars. BBC2 encounters in the sixth form with Andrés Segovia, Joe Pass, Pentangle and Chuck Berry meant that I bought a Spanish guitar with my first pay packet after leaving school. I still think it was a great decision: my mother still disagrees!'

Musicke in the Ayre

Jane Hunt: soprano | Maria Danishvar Brown: soprano | Din Ghani lute: archlute

Baroque Beginnings: from Peri to Purcell

Over the last 4 years, Wiltshire-based lutenist/luthier Din Ghani has gathered a group of singers and instrumentalists who share his love of the small-scale vocal repertoire of the 16th and 17th centuries, when the lute and its relatives were favoured for accompanying songs. Under the banner of “Musicke in the Ayre”, they have engaged and captivated audiences across the UK and in France and Spain with carefully crafted concert programmes delivered with passion and panache.

Although the group is geographically dispersed, with members as far flung as York, Freiburg and Madrid, the line up for this Festival appearance is very much a local affair: Din will be accompanying sopranos Jane Hunt (from Warminster) and Maria Danishvar Brown (from Bath) in a programme of songs and duets exploring the early Baroque, from its beginnings in Italy at the beginning of the 17th century, through to its manifestation in England at the end of the century. Din will be using lute and archlute (a lute with extended bass strings).

Beginning in Florence with the works of Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini (pioneers of the new musical style which led to the birth of opera), the programme give a flavour of the magnificent music of the masters of that period such as Claudio Monteverdi. The journey also takes in France and Spain, with their own take on the emerging style exemplified by Michel Lambert and Juan Hidalgo. Mid-century English songs by Robert Johnson and Nicholas Lanier show that the Italian influence was already felt in England by the time Henry Purcell was born – we end the journey with some lovely examples of his style.

Jane Hunt came from London to study music in Bath, and settled in the area. She has a performer’s diploma in singing and has taken part in masterclasses given by Evelyn Tubb, Stephen Varcoe and Elizabeth Ritchie. She sings regularly with Paragon Singers, Harmonia Sacra and Operaletta. Jane has performed solos with a number of local choral societies and has sung several operatic roles. She gives frequent vocal recitals and has a wide repertoire, with particular interests in early music and English song.

Maria Danishvar Brown is a Russian soprano and a painter, based in Bath. She studied singing in Kiev and Moscow and is studying with Rosa Mannion now. Maria has performed in numerous opera concerts, recitals in Bath, Wales, South West, Dorset and Russia as a soloist in oratorio and for the local orchestras. In 2009 she took part in the International Handel competition. She also teaches art and singing.

Din Ghani took up the lute in 1975 in Newcastle, and performed with various groups on Tyneside over the following decade. After moving to Dilton Marsh in 2001 he began making his own instruments. A growing interest in lute song led to forming Musicke in the Ayre on 2011. He has continued to learn from some of the best players in the country including Nigel North, Jacob Heringman, Jacob Lindberg, David Miller, Michael Fields and Liz Kenny, and has regularly accompanied singers in lute-song masterclasses given by Dame Emma Kirkby and Evelyn Tubb.

Richard Copeland

Organ Recital

Richard Copeland FGMS FSCO was born in Hampstead, London, moving to Southampton as a small child. He was chosen as a chorister for the local parish church choir in Southampton (where he first met his partner, Gina) at the tender age of six and has been immersed in church music ever since. He soon learnt the piano and later the organ to a high standard, passing three grade VIII examinations with distinction by the age of fifteen and gaining a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.

Richard quickly secured employment at the BBC as a staff organist performing and broadcasting from many of the large London churches and concert halls including playing for a ‘prom’ at the Royal Albert Hall. He also worked in many of the theatres in the West End of London becoming involved in the first shows of the (then) new musical spectaculars that were the Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express and Oliver!

In the 1990’s Richard decided to return to Southampton and continued to be in great demand as an accompanist working with many of the amateur and professional groups around the south of England, and the London fringe. He was, for thirteen years, the Director of Music for the Catholic Deanery of Southampton, finally being appointed organist at Portsmouth Roman Catholic Cathedral.

In the last few years Richard has been involved in musical collaborations with Howard Goodall, Gareth Malone and a host of other conductors of musical groups, small and large, accompanying choirs in Ireland, Holland and America. He also retains his cathedral organist’s hat by deputising in many of our great cathedrals, playing in his ‘local’ Exeter Cathedral in July last year. He is an accomplished theatre organist and enjoys playing ‘light’ music on the organ just as much as the serious side of things!

Richard is also actively involved with one of Britain’s foremost organ builders working on instruments for the chapels of Clayesmore, Cranleigh, Llandaff Cathedral and More House schools as well as the 1500 seat Abbey Church of Worth and the Mark Masons’ Grand Temple in Piccadilly. In March this year, he was in Shanghai, China where he has completed the installation of the organ for the new Shanghai Symphony Hall. Also in March, he was in Knock, Co. Mayo, Ireland, where he was reinstalling the organ in the Basilica, after its recent re-ordering. This was a major project, working on an organ which has to try, on occasions, to support the singing of ten thousand people!

Richard was recently awarded the FGMS. (Fellow of the Guild of Musicians and Singers)

Triple Basses

French and English composers of the 17th and 18th centuries

This will be a programme of about 40 minutes playing and including works by French and English composers of the 17th and 18th centuries, written for three ‘Viola da Gambas’ – also known as ‘Bass Viols’ We are: Heather Gibbard, Vanessa Coode and Frances Zagni and we will be playing 7 string basses.


  1. Jean-Henri d'Anglebert (1635-1691) - Variations on 'La Follia'
  2. Thomas Morley (1557-1602) - 3 songs taken from 19 Canzonets for 3 Bass Viols - See, see, myne owne sweet iewell - Farewell, disdainefull - Cease mine eyes
  3. John Hingeston (1600-1683) - Fantasia
  4. Jean-Baptiste Antoine Forqueray (1699-1782) - Suite for 3 viols - Allemande; Sarabande; Courante
  5. Johann Michael Nicolai (1629-1683) - Sonata in a minor for 3 Bass Viols



Songs for All Seasons

On Saturday May 2nd at 7.30 pm, CODA bring their unique blend of silly and serious songs to All Saints Church, Farmborough. They will present an enjoyable mix of songs, duets and trios from composers as diverse as Elgar, Ireland, Quilter, Coward and Swan and take us on a whirlwind tour through the seasons of the year. CODA comprises singers Gill Clark, Philippa Neaverson, and Niall Hoskin with Musical Director Lisa Clarke at the piano and was formed three years ago to raise funds for the charity ‘Children by Choice’.

Common Tongues

Common Tongues

Listening to the music of Common Tongues is like catching smoke; Its tangible essence might just be in your grasp when it twists and curls into a wisp of something else entirely. The Brighton 5-piece offer an absorbing, vital hit at their live shows whilst their records reveal immersive arrangements worthy of multiple listens and lyrical themes of conflict, decline and rebirth.

The band have travelled far and wide playing big, anthemic main stage slots at Secret Garden Party, Bestival, and Sligo Live. Whilst showcase gigs such as Liverpool Sound City, The Alternative Escape and Reeperbahn have built the bands experience they have also supported Brit award nominees Villagers and upcoming alt queens Larkin Poe. They have also demonstrated their ability to do intimate, heartbreaking acoustic sets at, amongst others, Cambridge Folk Festival, and live on Dermot O’ Leary’s Radio 2 show.

Their Gavin Monaghan (Editors/Scott Matthews/Robert Plant/The Twang) produced single, New Moon is due for release May 25th and taken from their debut album due for release late in 2015, and while the language of Common Tongues is their own, when you choose to listen, you won't help but understand it. Playing gigs & festivals across the UK & Europe they will be performing at The Great Escape Saturday May 16th at Above Audio.