It was probably some time during the 1980s – when I was a mere whipper-snapper –that I had the honour of being part of a school choir which performed a piece by Sir Malcolm Arnold, watched by the Northampton-born composer himself.
This weekend the Malcolm Arnold Festival rolls around again at the Royal & Derngate and the memory hits me once more of what it was like to sing in front of a properly famous musical genius...although who knows what the poor man thought.
As well as the festival, there is plenty of music to enjoy.
Fiori Musicali will be performing Faure’s Requiem on Saturday at the Church of St Margaret of Antioch in Crick, starting at 7.30pm.
Lucky audiences can also enjoy the composer’s Cantique de Jean Racine as well as Bloch’s prayer for cello and strings.
Tickets cost £20 and £15 for concessions. Advanced booking is recommended by calling 01327 360931 or by emailing concerts@ fiori-musicali.com
Also on Saturday at 7.30pm the Northampton Concert Orchestra will perform its autumn concert at Abington Avenue United Reformed Church.
The concert will feature a host of pieces hailing from Spain (including Malcolm Arnold’s arrangement of Tango in D by Albeniz), and will welcome special guests Tomas Jimenez and Maria Jose Garcia on flamenco guitar, dance and castanet. Tickets cost £6, available on the door or in advance from St Giles Music.
On Saturday between 10.30am and 5pm the Northamptonshire Choral Foundation will also be welcoming John Rutter to lead a choral workshop day. Singers of all experience are welcome to the event at Northampton High School in Hardingtone. The cost is £12 or £7 for under 18s. Pre-booking is essential. Ring 01604 632845.