St Mary’s church celebrates freedom with week-long event

The Banovallum Singers entertained at the celebration and 'thank you' event
The Banovallum Singers entertained at the celebration and 'thank you' event

Joyful, loving, musical, noise, colour, friendship, amazing, happy and wow!

Those are just some of the words used to sum up the week-long Arts and Music Festival held in St Mary’s Church.

Students from Banovallum Academy held a poetry session

Students from Banovallum Academy held a poetry session

With the theme of ‘Freedom’ the church was transformed into a colourful auditorium of flying birds, framed prints, mounted sketches and paintings.

There was also the longest paper chain ever seen in the town, with more than 1200 links, and a 34-pipe graffiti organ.

“What an occasion,” said Linda Patrick, the main organiser of the event.

“We had over 1900 people either taking part or visiting this extravaganza - and 34 different performances.

Children from the primary school enjoyed their music session.

Children from the primary school enjoyed their music session.

“All four of the town’s schools participated too, which is fantastic.”

Pupils from each school gave a varied lunchtime concert including choirs and individual soloists.

Linda said: “The talent from all our schools was amazing to behold.

“Pupils from St Lawrence’s school entertained with songs and a comedy sketch, while others took care of serving refreshments to the audience.

Students from QEGS at their lunchtime concert

Students from QEGS at their lunchtime concert

“Younger children from the Primary School sang their hearts out to a packed church, while both concerts from the Banovallum School and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School were spectacular.”

Choirs featured heavily in the festival too, with Minting Choir, Horncastle Community Choir, St Mary’s Gospelers, Horncastle Choral Society, the Banovallum Singers and Octangle all giving concerts during the festival week.

Many embraced the ‘Freedom’ theme and included slave songs within their repertoire.

Music from a range of brass instruments - played by a wide range of ages - also filled the church, including a debut performance for ELBO - East Lincs Brass Orchestra.

Octangle returned to this year's event

Octangle returned to this year's event

There was music too from The Lyndsey String Quartet, the Wolds Wind Quartet and Ruth Bell, as well as Chris and Gail Hinkins.

And there was even more with poetry reading, drama and sketching outdoors.

Local artist Ash Buckingham demonstrated how painting a picture can be so rewarding, there was a fascinating talk by Chrissie Chapman on William Wilberforce and his fight to stop slavery and the Young Stagers held a rehearsal for their forthcoming play

The week-long extravaganza of art culminated in eight hours of non-stop live music on the final Saturday of the Festival.

As the day progressed, the noise became more intense until The Big Sing, which saw 300 people join together to learn and perform ‘Freedom is Coming’, from the choral piece ‘Zimbe’ by Alexander L’Estrange

The Bishop of Grimsby together with children in the town broke the giant paper chains to symbolise freedom.

Linda said: “The week rounded off with a celebration of choral, with the Bishop giving a thoughtful talk.

“What a fitting end to a fantastic week.

“Thanks go to everyone who took part……… and watch out for 2019!”