Start of Wymondham Music Festival hits the right note with shoppers

A few timely rays of sunshine greeted the launch of the Wymondham summer concert season with a brass band performance in the town's market place on Saturday.

A crowd of over 200 passers-by stopped to enjoy the open air performance by the Wymondham Area Schools' Brass Band as the recent April rain finally gave way to some May sunshine, albeit with a chilly northerly breeze in tow.

The two hour concerts will be taking place every Saturday close to the Market Cross and there will also be an annual festival fortnight from June 23 until July 8 promoting more than 90 events, many of them free.

However, there will be events in various locations around the town including the Abbey and Central Hall until mid-December when the season will conclude with a performance by the Wymondham Choral Society.

This year's Wymondham Music Festival is the 17th since the annual event began in 1996 and Brian Randall, a member of the festival's organising committee, said the aim was to incorporate as much variety as possible into the programme, including Americana, classical, folk, world, jazz, swing, disco, funk and soul and early music.

He said: 'There is an amazing amount of talent in and around Norfolk and East Anglia, but we have spread our wings a little bit and we do bring in bands from further afield just because we like to have a bit of variety and it is good to have as many styles as possible.'

He added there would also be some rock music. Highlights of this year's event include O Duo's percussion extravaganza, the award-winning Demon Barber Roadshow's high-energy mix of music and dance, jazz pianist Craig Milverton and the Cuban music of Cuarteto Guarachando.

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John Wood, the music festival's chairman, said the festival relied on sponsorship from businesses and traders which helped to pay for 10,000 programmes to be printed.

The event also received support from South Norfolk Council, which provides a banner in the Market Cross.

Mr Randall added: 'It is not quite as warm as we would like for the beginning of May, but the sun has at least shone on us today which is quite gratifying.'

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