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Musical duo to visit Isle of Wight

Wed 21 Nov 2012

Musical duo to visit Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is famous for its contributions to the British musical calendar, with the island's annual festival at Seaclose Park one of the UK's most-loved and idiosyncratic events and a favourite of many music enthusiasts across the country.

However, people on Isle of Wight holidays may be surprised at the range of smaller, less well-publicised gigs that take place on the island all through the year.

One of these is coming up when folk duo James Hickman and Dan Cassidy make the trip to St Mary's Church, Brading on December 1st, marking their second appearance on the Isle of Wight following an impressive performance back in 2010.

Having been invited by local promotional agency Vaguely Sunny, the band are set to play two concerts in the area.

The second will take place on at Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater Bay on December 2nd, with both gigs beginning at 19:45 and tickets priced at £10.

"A return visit last year had to be cancelled on the morning of the first of their two scheduled concerts because James's partner was about to give birth to their first child," the event's organisers explained.

However, the trans-Atlantic duo's affinity for the island is sure to be on show over the course of their two performances, which will combine elements of folk, bluegrass, Cajun and Celtic influences.

The varied nature of their set is testament to their diverse backgrounds - Cassidy, the brother of famous folk musician Eva Cassidy, is a fiddler who has played with a number of different groups since leaving his hometown of Maryland in the US.

His colleague James Hickman, the lead singer in the partnership, is from Shrewsbury and is known as "an excellent interpreter of folksong and an emotive songwriter".

Vaguely Sunny are also arranging several other concerts in the area this year, including a set of performances from Canterbury's Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys Chamber Choir.

This will be the fourth consecutive year that the choir return to the Isle of Wight to perform a series of Christmas-themed songs, helping drum up a festive atmosphere in the build up to December 25th.

The choir is conducted by their teacher Emily Temel (nee Renshaw), who is a well-known musical figure on the island, both as a solo singer and as a member of the Orpheus Singers, a much-loved ladies choir.

Furthermore, venues such as Coburgs, The Studio, The Spyglass Inn and many more host a range of gigs from cover bands, local acts, tribute shows and more, ensuring that music lovers who take a trip to the island should be able to find something to take their fancy.

For those whose taste tends towards the classical side of the spectrum, the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra Society is a well-established non-professional group with a varied repertoire who tend to put on a number of performances over the course of the year.

The orchestra was established as a regular feature of island musical life in 1983 and has played a lively role ever since, under artistic directors including Jonathan Grieves-Smith, Peter Lipari and Jonathan Butcher.

It has given over 100 subscription concerts, mainly at its home of the Medina Theatre but also on other venues across the Isle of Wight and in neighbouring Southampton.

Current conductor Mr Butcher has appeared with orchestras across Europe and last summer made his German debut conducting the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich.

The company's 2013 programme includes a show on March 16th at the Medina Theatre that will showcase The Golden Spinning Wheel by Dvorak, Sea Pictures by Elgar and Vaughn-William's famous third symphony.

With such diversity to choose from, music fans are sure to enjoy a holiday on the Isle of Wight.

Posted by Jon NobleADNFCR-3083-ID-801492508-ADNFCR

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