An English Country Garden, filled with music

An English Country Garden, filled with music

Firstly, thank you to all who came to this weekend’s Finchcocks Festival #3. It was such a happy occasion. We welcomed over 200 guests over the course of the weekend – some for their third festival in a row, some first-timers! Most importantly, ticket and bar sales raised a whopping £4,288.40 for local musical charities.

Saturday afternoon saw the return of our fabulous Finchcocks trio, featuring Musical Director David Hall on piano, Programme Director Jennifer Maslin on vocals and violin, and the outrageously talented James Sunney on double bass.

Set in the beautiful walled garden, guests were able to arrive early with picnics and enjoy the fruits of the Finchcocks gardeners’ hard work, protected from the breeze – and the cares of the outside world!

The audience listened so intently throughout and, in our opinion, were extremely well-behaved for a jazz gig. Whilst the Pimms flowed, the trio treated guests to a selection of summery standards, balmy blues and lighthearted latin numbers and were met with lots of applause at the end of each number.

Sunday saw our our open-air stage against the western elevation of Finchcocks come to life – with music and tales from past coronations performed and narrated by the jawdroppingly talented Florian Mitrea.

Playing outside comes with a whole heap of challenges you wouldn’t anticpate, but you wouldn’t have realised from the way Florian played such demanding repertoire! From a spitfire flying over twice, a battle reenactment with drums at neighbouring Scotney Castle, tractors at work in nearby fields, to a strong breeze and glare on the iPad from the sun – not to mention the change in acoustics playing outside instead of the usual main hall – Florian played Beethoven and Liszt as effortlessly as a nursery rhyme. A true master indeed.

Along with each ticket sold, guests received a complimentary drink from our little bar, manned here by Finchcocks gardener Vicky and course host Jaz.

Profits will be split between two local secondary schools’ music departments, providing necessary funds to run additional lunchtime singing and orchestral clubs at both Mascalls’ Academy and Cranbrook School. Thank you so much for your support… and do come again next year!