A night of music at Strawberry Hill

In early July, we were thrilled to host our summer fundraising concert at the beautiful Strawberry Hill House. Our supporters and friends gathered for an evening of classical music in the unique surroundings of Horace Walpole’s “little Gothic castle”. 

Strawberry Hill House is known as one of the greatest examples of Gothic Revival architecture (complete with battlements, towers and concealed doors!). Guests who could attend a little earlier were given a guided tour. They explored the building’s history and special features – from the gilded papier-mâché ceiling of the Gallery to the impressive Library.  

Our guests gathered in the Gallery for drinks and canapes, before taking their seats in the Waldegrave suite to watch performances from three young musicians we’re currently supporting through our Awards programme.  

Our first performer was 16 year old Alexander, who plays the French horn. He performed the Allegro moderato from Beethoven’s Horn Sonata in F major Op.17 and Strauss’ Notturno Op.44. Alexander is about to take his A Levels and has big plans to become a professional horn player. His sister Kate is also supported by AYM (though she plays the bassoon, so there aren’t many opportunities for duets!). 

15 year old Cerys then performed three pieces on the harp. Cerys and her mum Pat travelled from Carmarthenshire to join us for the event. Cerys has been playing the harp since she was six years old – the first time she tried it, she played the Welsh national anthem by ear! Several years on, she’s growing as a performer. Her mum Pat shared why performance opportunities like this concert are so important: 

“Cerys really enjoyed the event. She’s grateful for as many performing opportunities as possible to build her confidence.”  

A few days after the concert, Cerys won third prize at Llangollen International Eisteddfod, youth instrumentalist category aged 15-19. We’re delighted to hear this result! 

Our final performer was 15 year old violinist Casey, who performed pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, Claude Debussy and Pablo de Sarasate. As well as classical music, Casey is passionate about jazz and composing. She studies with Leland Chen at the Royal Northern College of Music and at Junior Royal Academy of Music on the jazz course. This summer, she’s heading to Italy where she will get to play for the jazz violinist, Jean-Luc Ponty.    

After these three special performances, our young musicians and guests chatted over further refreshments and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings at Strawberry Hill! 

We’d like to congratulate our young musicians on their amazing performances and thank our accompanist, Jennie-Helen Moston. We’re really grateful to our guests for joining us for the evening and being such a supportive audience.  

We’d also like to say a big thank you to the team at Strawberry Hill House and St Mary’s University for all their support with this event. 

Are you interested in attending future events? Sign up to our mailing list or feel free to contact our Development Administrator for more information. E: [email protected] 

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