The ever-popular free Tuesday lunchtime concert series returns to St Alkmund's church, with returning favourites and new talent on the calendar this autumn. Organiser Jeremy Lund tells us more.
Wherever you sit in Saint Alkmund’s Church you can hardly miss the beautiful painted glass East window, with its central figure of “Hope”, her arms outstretched. The window dates from 1795, but more recently has become the banner for the popular Tuesday lunchtime concert series. These free concerts took off after COVID, and St Alkmund’s now has more than 60 such events under its belt, including music as well as talks on a variety of subjects.
The formula remains a simple one: a mixture of instruments and styles, a range of ages among the performers which promotes young recitalists as well as established ones, a sense of enjoyment and each concert free of charge (donations are welcomed, and such is the enjoyment, they tend to be generous). Some performers are young musicians destined for promising international careers, but St Alkmund’s also sets two or three spaces aside each year for children to sign up (using the concerts website) and play one piece for an appreciative audience.
The older musicians enjoy themselves too – no doubt attracted by the excellent acoustics of the church and the packed audiences (the concerts attract on average 50 to 60 people each week).
Highlights of recent months have been a presentation for the John Weaver Anniversary Festival by Jeremy Lund with Alex Postlethwaite, and James Barralet’s performance of the entire cycle of Suites for unaccompanied ‘cello – the last two at St Alkmund’s. This Autumn features Alison Loram on violin with Chris Symons, Lucy Powell-Davies on bassoon, and our regular Remembrance-focused presentation of poetry and music by Andrew Bannerman with John Bowen.
All of the above-named performers are returning after previous successes – but we can also look forward to the stellar talents of pianists Juanjo Blazquez and Matthew McLachlan in October, soprano Gabrielle Leung as well as several (excellent but sadly not free) concerts from the Shropshire Music Trust and the Phoenix Singers.
On December 20th St Alkmund’s will again stage its own special festive celebration “Gaudete!” to raise money for charity - and spirits for Christmas.
These and further events are all to be found on the website, where you can sign up for email notifications of all our concerts and talks: https://stalkmundschurchshrewsbury.com
Jeremy and Caroline (the organisers of the lunch time events) would like to add that they are extremely grateful for the generous support of The Shrewsbury Bid and Morris & Co.