Wednesday 28 October 2015

DaleDiva Triumphs in Las Vegas!

DaleDiva provided wonderful entertainment for a large Fringe audience in St John's Church last July. The chorus recently took part in a World Championships event. Here is a full report on their success from Artsbeat Magazine which is produced every month by Amanda Penman -

Derbyshire women’s chorus DaleDiva has brought home a silver medal after wowing the judges with its 15-minute show package in the World Championships in Las Vegas.
The Divas rocked the MGM Grand stage with their performance in the Harmony Classic competition and were awarded a score of 1,249 – just one point behind the gold medal winners.
DaleDiva, formed by musical director Ally Law in 2007, was selected for the World Championships after winning at national competition level in May last year.
Ally said: “Even to have earned a place in the World Championships was an amazing achievement so to win a silver medal in our debut international competition just one point behind the winners was incredible.
“It’s been 18 months of hard work and dedication leading up to this event and it’s been such an adventure. I’m bursting with pride at our achievement and it will take us all a few weeks to come back down to earth.
“We hope we’ve made our county and our country proud by representing them among the best in the world.”
DaleDiva performed four songs in its show package – its versions of Adele’s pop hit ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and the barbershop ballad ‘If I Had My Way’. This was followed with ‘The British Medley’, a unique arrangement by Diva coach Zac Booles of hits by UK artists including The Beatles, Queen, Elton John and The Spice Girls and ended with ‘The Parting Glass’ – a poignant Irish blessing arranged by Diva Shelley Gray.
Ally added: “The chorus competed against stiff competition from the USA and want to say huge congratulations to the winners and all the competitors – it was a privilege to share that amazing stage with them.
“We also want to say a huge thank you to all our fans, families, friends, local residents and businesses for supporting us in the vital task of raising funds for the trip as well as supporting us through all the many preparations taking part in a World Championships requires. It was a fantastic team effort and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
The chorus raised £29,000 with its ‘Going for Gold’ fund-raising campaign since winning the national competition 18 months ago to make sure as many of the Divas as possible could attend the World Championships.
For more information about DaleDiva and to see its silver medal-winning performance visit and

All of us at the Fringe add our congratulations and would love to see the Chorus back in Buxton.

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Fringe AGM - do join us on November 11th

After the fantastic success of 2015’s bumper event, Buxton Festival Fringe is inviting audience members, friends and performers to have their say at its new-look Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 11th November at Buxton’s Old Hall Hotel.
This year, in a bid to welcome potential new members, the committee has added a social element, inviting anyone with an interest in the Fringe to come to the AGM at 7pm then stay for a chat and a drink. During the short AGM, the chair will share his report on the 2015 Fringe and the committee will vote members into key roles. At 8pm there will be a short business meeting for the committee with newcomers welcome to attend.
The Fringe is always looking for new members and is hoping the new format will encourage people to come along to find out just what happens behind the scenes. It is an opportunity to offer feedback and become part of a very special Buxton event now in its 36th year.
Keith Savage, Buxton Fringe’s chair states: “We look forward to seeing as many performers, audience members and Friends of the Fringe who can make it to the AGM. It is an important chance, as we begin to plan for 2016, to hear from people first hand about what they like about the Fringe and anything that they would like to see change. By having some informal time in the meeting we hope that conversation will be easier. Finally we'd be happy to talk to anyone interested in joining the Fringe committee!"
Anyone seeking further information, about the AGM or generally about the activities of the Fringe committee, which meets all year round, should contact Fringe chair Keith Savage at

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Sunday 25 October 2015

Northern Chamber Orchestra begins concert series in Buxton

Lauren Scott
We've just received some really exciting news! One of the top chamber orchestras in the country – Buxton Festival’s ‘Orchestra in Residence’, the NCO, presents a brand-new, 3-concert series in Buxton, starting 15 November
The Northern Chamber Orchestra has partnered up with Buxton Festival, in association with Orchestras Live, to present a brand-new, three-concert series for Buxton. The series has also been funded by a grant from The Foyle Foundation. Buxton visitors and residents have the opportunity to hear the NCO when it participates in Buxton Festival’s main opera productions as the ‘Orchestra in Residence’ for two weeks each summer. The new concert series is intended to give people living in and around Buxton access to top-quality, live classical music-making throughout the rest of the year and without the need to travel far to enjoy experiencing it. The partners have been busy programming a lovely mix of music and formats and the result is a Sunday evening concert on 15 November at St John’s Church, Buxton, a fabulous Viennese Gala at Buxton Opera House on Friday 8 January and a Lunchtime Coffee Concert at the Pavilion Arts Centre on Thursday 28 April, featuring soloists from the NCO.
Jonathan Thackeray, NCO General Manager said:“I am delighted to announce the NCO’s new series in Buxton for 2015–2016.  We have been a part of Buxton’s arts scene for several years as the ‘Orchestra in Residence’ at Buxton Festival and we see this series as a natural and welcome extension of our activities in the area, which we hope to build on for the future.”
Orchestras Live is supporting the two orchestral concerts and Henry Little, Chief Executive of Orchestras Live, said:“For many years Orchestras Live has co-produced high quality orchestral concerts with the Buxton Festival. It has been an aspiration of ours to encourage more year-round programming of concerts in Buxton and High Peak, and we are delighted that the forthcoming concerts by Northern Chamber Orchestra are a valuable step towards fulfilling this ambition.”
NCO presents a successful annual season in Macclesfield and performs concerts in rural towns across the North. It is keen to build a regular series in Buxton and to work with highly successful arts organisations already operating there, such as Buxton Festival.  Randall Shannon, Executive Director of Buxton Festival said: “I’m delighted that the orchestra will be appearing in Buxton outside of the Festival period, further strengthening our partnership and increasing the high-quality music-making available to local audiences.”
The Hint of Genius concert at St John’s Church on Sunday 15 November at 7.30pm features wonderful interludes from opera, theatre and ballet, along with an evergreen favourite from Holst – St Paul’s Suite. Dramatic, early works – hinting at genius – from Mendelssohn (String Symphony no 10) and Shostakovich (Prelude and Scherzo Op 11) add youthful fire. Debussy’s atmospheric, sometimes sensuous Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane will showcase the talents of soloist, Lauren Scott on the harp.  Harp and strings combine in John McCabe’s 2 Dances from the ballet, Mary Queen of Scots and the Ida Carroll Trust has sponsored the performance of this work, in honour of the revered British composer and pianist, who died earlier this year. The enduring fascination with two of Shakespeare’s most famous literary characters is explored in Fauré’s Nocturne from Shylock and Tchaikovsky’s Entr’acte from Hamlet.
NCO is also performing at Buxton Opera House and the Pavilion Arts Centre in 2016. The Viennese Gala on Friday 8 January, 7.30pm, at the Opera House, will welcome the New Year with a sparkling programme of uplifting waltzes, polkas and memorable marches from the Strauss family and other Viennese masters. Soprano, Alison Langer, will join Nicholas Ward, NCO Artistic Director, and the orchestra for classics such as Vienna City of My Dreams by Sieczynski and the Laughing Song by Strauss. Keeping the mood very jolly will be the Overture from The Merry Wives of Windsor and Vilja from The Merry Widow, along with many others, and of course, no Viennese Gala would be complete without The Blue Danube 
The Lunchtime Coffee Concert at the Pavilion Arts Centre, at 1pm, Thursday 28 April, will feature a top trio of soloists from the NCO playing a brief but delicious programme of Schubert’s Trio Movement in B flat D471Hans Krasa Tanec (Dance) and Beethoven String Trio in G Op 9 no 1.
Tickets for Hint of Genius at St John’s Church on 15 November, are available from NCO Box Office: 0161 247 2220, Buxton TIC at the Pavilion Tel: 01298 25106 and On The Door – priced: £15 / 18s & under £10 (all unreserved). To book tickets and for information about the Viennese Gala at Buxton Opera House and the Lunchtime Coffee Concertat the Pavilion, contact Buxton Opera House Tel: 01298 72190 and visit  Find out more about all NCO’s concerts at
If you are attending the November 15th concert and need accommodation in the town that evening you may wish to consider the following offer from the Portland Hotel: 
Buxton Festival Friends / Buxton Fringe Festival Friends and NCO Friends & Patrons who book for the NCO’s concert have the chance to stay at The Portland Hotel in Buxton’s picturesque town centre for a special, discounted rate: 
 Bed & Breakfast: £25 per person on the evening of Sunday 15 November 2015.* (a single room is normally £40 a night / a double room is normally £35 per person per night).  Parking is available. heck out the hotel: 
 Our ‘Friends’ offer also includes £1 off the price of the NCO concert ticket**  (per Friend), so you pay £14 instead of £15.
*Portland Hotel ‘Friends’ Offer: only available on Sunday 15 November 2015 and is subject to availability.  Offer not exchangeable for cash.  Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.  To access the offer, please quote ‘NCO Friends Offer’ at the point of booking with the hotel - either by telephone: 01298 71493 or by email:
**To book tickets for NCO’s Hint of Genius concert, ring NCO Box Office Tel: 0161 247 2220 or ring/ call in at Buxton TIC, Pavilion Gardens Tel: 01298 25106 and quote ‘NCO Concert ‘Friends’ Offer’.  You have to pre-book to access the £1 offer special offer; it is not available On The Door.
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Thursday 22 October 2015

Up the ladder to the roof?

One of the more exciting - and dare we say exclusive? - Fringe venues of recent years has been the Pump House roof which sits in the middle of the historic Crescent and allows performers to play to an audience sitting on the parkland of The Slopes.

As part of the Crescent redevelopment the Pump House will be renovated and work starts soon. Liz Mackenzie - who some of you will know through her PR work for Buxton Festival - is working part-time as the new Buxton Crescent Community and Volunteer Officer. Liz has hopes that the Pump House roof will be a more accessible Fringe venue in 2016.

She would also be interested to hear from anyone with imaginative ideas about how the Crescent might be represented and interpreted in a creative way - through drama, music, visual arts, anything really. If you have an idea do let Liz know - there is a possibility that some funding might be available. You can contact Liz at  

Fringe favourite Mark Gwynne Jones will be in Buxton for Halloween with a one-off gig at The Old Hall Hotel. It will sell-out quickly wethinks. This is all we know: 

Sat 31st Oct 2015, Buxton, The Pauper’s Pit, A Concert for Halloween with classical guitarist and composer Steve Marsh, the Peak Guitar Quartet and Mr Halloween himself, Mark Gwynne Jones. Expect fine music and the story of a modern day Faust! Tickets £10 Tel. 01629 813624.

More soon on the Fringe AGM and a new series of Chamber Orchestra concerts starting in Buxton in November.

Buxton Fringe

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Thursday 15 October 2015

It's Autumn and We're Back

As part of our commitment to public service blogging here are two reminders: British Summer Time ends on Sunday 25th October and Christmas Day is on 25th December (a Friday this year).

Of more significance, we feel, is sharing some of the Buxton Fringe news that we have been accumulating. In fact we have more news than we can fit into one post - unless we become The Guardian on Saturday and have about six supplements. So here is today's news - there will be more in a few day's time.

1] Buxton Fringe 2016 will run from Wednesday July 6th right through to Sunday July 24th - another 19 days of summer fun. [The Buxton Festival is from 8-24 and they have already announced three opera - see their sparkly website for news of all the Festival is doing. And some of it is in November!]

2] The Buxton Festival Fringe will be open for entries on December 1st. Entry prices have been frozen at last year's rates. So start sorting out your venues all you artists and performers. To celebrate the opening of Fringe 37 we'll be having a bit of a community singalong of Derbyshire Village Carols at the Green Man Gallery. More details to follow very soon. But something like this is what we are aiming at.

3] Among the new friends we made during the last Fringe were Joanne and Chris (Miss Judy and Mr Punch). They'd love to see any videos that you might have of them - and they were pretty much everywhere. If you have anything please post a message on our Facebook page or somewhere and we'll pass it on.

4] Finally, for now, a bit more news on the Past Lives Project which launched a Buxton project during the Fringe. The Project is still collecting home cine film of Buxton and the adjacent area to create a film (about 50 minutes with original music) of the area. The hope is to gather film until around Christmas and edit the whole lot for a public launch early in the New Year. So dust off all your old Super 8 footage and contact the project at or ring 07890 211 524.

More soon!   

Buxton Fringe

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