St Andrew's Festival, Gorleston

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor One of the final festivals of the year’s regional arts calendar gets under way at the end of October. Event editor Trevor Heaton reports on the wealth of music, opera and drama to be enjoyed in the next few weeks.

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor

Think Gorleston and you'll probably think “seaside town next to Yarmouth” – but every autumn the St Andrew's Festival ensures it's on the arts map too.

This year's festival is the 36th, and – as well as its core of classic music – features military music, jazz, opera, drama and more.

The festival gets under way on Saturday October 30 with the popular return after two years of the Band of the Dragoon Guards. Mixing popular classics, big band favourites and up-to-date music, this concert at Lynn Grove High School promises to be one of the highlights of the festival programme. Tickets £10, £9.

The next day at the Haydn Lute Trio – David Parsons, Hazel Brooks and Francisco del Amo – play music written by the 18th-century composer and his contemporaries. They have performed at many major concert venues and Festivals around Britain, including London's South Bank. Tickets £8, concs £7 – with under-18s free.

The tuneful side to Anglia television favourite Helen McDermott is revealed on Tuesday November 2 when she joins forces with cabaret artist (and one-time consultant haemotologist) John Leslie at the town's lovely Pavilion Theatre for an evening of anecdotes and songs from the likes of Porter, the Gershwins and Berlin. (£10)

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On November 3 there's a chance to enjoy the sparkling stage adaptation of comedy Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, taken by Constance Cox from the original novel by – who else? – Oscar Wilde. The play will be be performed by highly-rated Lowestoft drama group The Quaysiders. (£7/£6)

The five-piece Groves Brass Ensemble will be in concert the next day, with classical, romantic, contemporary and jazz works. £6/£5.

On Friday November 5 the Cliff Hotel hosts the popular jazz band Red Beans'n'Rice for more of its foot-tapping New Orleans-style sound. (£8/£7).

The festival has a long record in encouraging talented young musicians and on November 8 Competitive Festival winners Rachel Ridout (saxophone) and Michelle Penn (violin) will be in concert. Entry is £8 – with under-18s free.

Go behind the scenes of the National Trust with a special festival illustrated talk at Gorleston Library on November 8 (£6). Audrey Wormald will describe the workings of a house, the maintenance and housekeeping of a property and the various National Trust properties in our region.

On November 10, it's the turn of the Garden Consort, which in its show A Night at the Opera, will be aiming to do just that with some of the best-loved arias of all time. (£10/£9)

Music by Frank Bridge, Haydn and Ravel will be performed by the Bridge Quartet the following evening. Led by international soloist Madeline Mitchell, the concert promises to be a real treat for chamber music lovers. The quartet has given many recitals and master classes at Festivals in Britain, Europe and the USA. Tickets £10/£9 – and once again under-18s get in free.

Percussionist Patrick King will definitely feel at home when he plays a concert on November 12 – he's Gorleston-born. He will be joined by Owen Gunnell, and both studied at the Royal College of Music and have played with many London orchestras. Tickets £6.

The Norwich Pops Orchestra will be in concert at Lynn Grove High School on November 13 with a programme of light classics and music from popular shows and films. £10/£9.

The festival ends on November 14 (6.30pm) with the Celebration Service, at St Andrew's Church, Gorleston, when Great Yarmouth Choral Society, conducted by John Farmer, will perform a selection of musical items.

All events start at 7.30pm and take place at the Chapter House, St Andrew's Church, unless otherwise stated.

t Book tickets at Music Lovers, High Street, Gorleston (01493 440021) or Brahams Fashions, 16 Market Row, Yarmouth (01493 857942). You can also order by post – send requirements (with cheques made payable to “St Andrew's Festival” and an SAE) to Marian Conway, 27 Victoria Road, Gorleston, Norfolk, NR31 6EF.

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