Students and singers in the spotlight as Elgar takes double bow at Hitchin and Stevenage concerts

Sir Edward Elgar

Sir Edward Elgar - Credit: Archant

The stirring music of Sir Edward Elgar will be showcased at two different concerts in the coming week.

Talented pianist Isaac Barkway is a pupil at Letchworth's Fearnhill School and leader of the North H

Talented pianist Isaac Barkway is a pupil at Letchworth's Fearnhill School and leader of the North Herts Youth Orchestra - Credit: Archant

North Herts Youth Orchestra is set to take the stage on Monday at Hitchin Boys’ School with a programme featuring composers of the late Victorian and early Edwardian era.

Elgar’s romantic orchestral pieces Salut D’Amore, Chanson de Matin and Chanson de Nuit are on the programme, as well as Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Pelleas & Melisande by Jean Sibelius.

Isaac Barkway, a pupil at Letchworth’s Fearnhill School who is also the orchestra’s leader, is the featured soloist in a performance of Ravel’s G major piano concerto.

The orchestra, which meets weekly at Benslow Music in Hitchin under the baton of Justin Fung, attracts students aged 11 to 19 from across North Herts and Stevenage.

Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7.30pm and is hosted by the Friends of North Herts Music School with proceeds going to buy new equipment, music and instruments, are £8 for adults and £5 for students.

They will be available on the door. and the price includes interval refreshments.

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On Saturday night Stephen Bullamore will be conducting a North Herts Guild of Singers concert featuring a performance of Elgar’s 1900 choral work The Dream Of Gerontius, which created an enduring musical setting for a poem by John Henry Newman.

They will be singing in the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in Broadhall Way, Stevenage, with mezzo soprano Catherine Denley, tenor Mark Wilde and bass Julian Empett taking solo slots and musical accompaniment by the Hertfordshire Philharmonia.

Tickets (£15, £12 concessions and £8 for students) are available from 01462 790210 or 01438 861185, from the Hitchin Initiative offices in Churchyard, Hitchin and David’s Bookshop in Letchworth or online at