Newbury Spring Festival


Free Learning and Community Participation

The Festival is committed to music education for children and the community. In 2018 school children are invited to attend a number of performances and join in with a variety of workshops completely free of charge, with some events open to people of all ages:

Details of these free opportunities will be sent to all schools in advance; however places are limited and are reserved on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Jane Pickering 01635 528766 or email for further information.

Highlights of 2018 included:

20 April Travelling by Tuba

for primary school children. Chris Cranham and Stewart Death visited three local primary schools, demonstrating the fun to be had with a range of musical instruments.

12 May Hannah Kendall, composer

Hannah is the composer of the Newbury Spring Festival Commission, celebrating the 40th anniversary, to be performed by the Philharmonia. She led a workshop with senior music GCSE students, giving tips, inspiration and generating discussion about music composition and harmony. They were invited to the orchestral rehearsal of Hannah’s work.

15 May Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

All local schools were invited to the Corn Exchange for an hour-long demonstration by the drummers of this thrilling Japanese performance art, plus a chance to learn about their amazing instruments.

16 May Kabantu

For secondary school students, the quintet celebrated music from around the globe and performed a workshop in a local secondary school in Newbury prior to their evening performance at Donnington Priory.

19 May YolanDa Brown Jazz Workshop

Everyone wass invited to join the UK’s premier female saxophonist YolanDa Brown at the Corn Exchange as she and saxophone students from Berkshire Maestros and Hogan Academy experiment with jazz. YolanDa performed her show at the Corn Exchange the night before.

19 May Festival Evensong, St Nicolas Church

All were welcome to this special service, starting at 3.30pm, as part of celebrations of the Festival’s 40th anniversary.

22 May Tashi Lhunpo Monks

Local schools were invited to the Corn Exchange to meet the monks in their costumes and discover how prayer, spirituality and dance inspire their daily lives. The children will sing songs and join in with the celebration dances.

24 May Ballet Central

Schools, dance classes and ballet companies were welcome to this free Open Dress Rehearsal 3.00–5.00pm at the Corn Exchange, plus an opportunity to talk to the students and ask them questions prior to their evening show.

Free Tickets for Under 25s

This scheme means those aged 15–25 can come to Festival events free of charge. Tickets are limited to one per person and are subject to availability. Proof of age is required when tickets are collected. Writing a review of the experience offers the chance of winning a cash prize.

None of the above could happen without the support of our generous sponsors and funders, to whom we are hugely grateful.