love: Handel 2017
‘A weekend dedicated to Handel in Norwich, was a fine tribute to both composer and musicians…playing was vibrant and expressive throughout…This inaugural Handel Festival was a high-quality event for both young and old, aficionado or beginner’
Martyn Harrison Seen and Heard-International
The Brook Street Band launched its inaugural Handel Festival, a 2-day event in Norwich, in April 2017
The Brook Street Band has long dreamed of presenting its own Festival, dedicated to the great love of its life, George Frideric Handel. love: Handel is a brand-new festival, which was timed to coincide with and celebrate the end of the Band’s 20th Anniversary year, bringing Handel’s music to Norwich, an area currently lacking an early music Festival. The BSB has close connections with the area, several of its members having lived and worked there, and love: Handel enabled the BSB to bring Handel’s music into the heart of this community. The Brook Street Band believes it is perfectly positioned to deliver a new Handel Festival, away from London and its saturation of cultural activity, but still within an active, supportive and vibrant musical community, which Norwich offers.
Tatty Theo, the group’s founder writes: ‘As a group, we are lucky enough to play in many of most prestigious concert venues, but we are also passionate about bringing the music we love to our local community, especially working with young people in education and involving them in our concerts. love: Handel unites these factors, with several Band-members living in East Anglia, and a wide-ranging music education programme in place across the region with links to Norfolk Music Service, Cambridgeshire Music Hub Live and Aldeburgh Young Musicians’.
Coupled with the love: Handel Festival is an extensive and ongoing education programme, for junior and secondary schools in Norwich and the surrounding area, in association with the Norfolk Music Service. This aims to get more young people taking part in music and the arts and improve music and cultural education for children (key aims of the Department for Education), as well as encouraging young people to attend the love: Handel festival. The Brook Street Band presented whole-school music assemblies and worked in detail with over 300 children.
The love: Handel festival was extremely family-friendly, with young people encouraged to come and participate, with free tickets to concerts for Under 18s. Whilst this is a new festival, The Brook Street Band intends to develop it into a biennial event, which will grow towards a 4-day event within 6 years.