Music for a Summer’s Evening

(From left) Wendy Dorkings, Churchwarden; Mags Fisher, Organiser; Julie Roberts, Gary Holder, 'Airs and Graces' ; Mark Jennings, Classical guitarist.
(From left) Wendy Dorkings, Churchwarden; Mags Fisher, Organiser; Julie Roberts, Gary Holder, 'Airs and Graces' ; Mark Jennings, Classical guitarist.

Following the very successful musical evening held last year in the ancient church of St Nicolas at Itchingfield, the church Fundraising Committee decided that on Thursday July 18th this year the experience could be repeated, but with a slightly different slant.

So, despite the hot weather and the scaffolding surrounding the building, over 80 people sat in the cool calm of the mediaeval St Nicolas church, enjoying the friendly atmosphere, summer floral arrangements and atmospheric candlelight, awaiting the music. They were not disappointed.

The audience was transported to Spain with superb Spanish classical guitar medleys performed by Mark Jennings. The solos included the intense and complex guitar rhythms of Isaac Albeniz, Joaquin Rodrigo, ‘The Deer Hunter’ theme by Stanley Myers and for contrast, Bach fugue BWV 1000.

After a short break the musical images changed. We were warmly and endearingly entertained by singer and guitarist Julie Roberts and the amazing double bassist Gary Holder; two members of the local trio “Airs & Disgraces”.

Their programme included light jazz, well known ‘foot tapping’ rhythm and blues and popular folk music, ending with the classic ‘Route 66’.

Following the much enjoyed music, a short presentation was made by Maurice Nicholls on behalf of all at St Nicolas; thanking the performers for providing such a wonderfully entertaining evening and for the generosity and time of so many people from the parish and elsewhere.

Special mention was made of David and Pippa Heritage from Barns Green Village Store for donating the wine, of Mags Fisher for working tirelessly to ensure that the event went ahead and of Pippa McBean who initiated the plans for the organisation of the evening.

The audience were then served wine and canapes.

A magical summer’s evening in a beautiful rural setting. Needless to say, the organisers were asked to hold another similar event – soon.