Julia Elliott and Peter Harrison to perform Hardy poems and Wessex county tunes at Dementia Friendly Tea Concert on June 16

Peter Harrison: Playing Wessex country tunes on boxwood flute

NEXT Thursday’s Dementia Friendly Tea Concert at St Chad’s Church, York, will be “something a little different”.

“We are exploring the writing of Thomas Hardy and the music that he would have known,” says organiser Alison Gammon. “Julia Elliott will read short extracts from some of Hardy’s well-known books and Peter Harrison will play traditional Wessex country tunes on his boxwood flute.”

Harrison is the director of York early music ensemble Concert Royal and has given recitals in every corner of the UK, in Europe and the USA, as well as for the British Council in South America.

“As usual, the format on June 16 will be a 45-minute concert followed by tea, coffee and homemade cakes, with a chance to chat,” says Alison. “The event is a relaxed concert, ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, so we do not mind if the audience wants to talk or move about!

“Seating is unreserved and there is no charge, although donations are welcome. We give the hire cost to the church and the rest goes to Alzheimer’s charities.”

St Chad’s has a small car park and street parking can be found along Campleshon Road. “But it can get busy, so do allow plenty of time,” advises Alison. “Wheelchair access to the church is via the church hall.”

Cellist Isobel Parsons and pianist Robert Gammon to play Dementia Friendly Tea Concert at St Chad’s Church on May 19

Robert Gammon: Piano accompanist for Isobel Parsons’ concert at St Chad’s Church

CELLIST Isobel Parsons will play a Dementia Friendly Tea Concert at St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, on May 19.

Isobel is in her final year of music studies at the University of Leeds and is a pupil of renowned cello teacher Sue Lowe.

Accompanied on the piano by Robert Gammon in a 2.30pm programme of lively and serene music, she will play familiar pieces, The Swan from Saint-Saëns’ Carnival Of The Animals, a Bach Partita and Suk’s Serenade, plus folk songs by Schumann and Faure’s Après un Rêve and Élégie.

As usual, the format will be 45 minutes of classical music followed by tea, coffee, homemade cakes and a chance to chat.

Along with the small church car park, there is on street parking along Campleshon Road, but it can be busy, so do allow plenty of time. Wheelchair access to the church is via the church hall.

“The event is a relaxed concert, and ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, so we do not mind if the audience wants to talk or move about,” says organiser Alison Gammon.

“Seating is unreserved and there’s no charge to attend, although donations are welcome. We give the hire cost to the church and the rest goes to Alzheimer’s charities.

Dates are in the diary for all the series of Thursday concerts until Christmas: June 16, Peter and Julia Harrison, flute and poetry reading; July 21, Hannah Feehan, guitar; August 25, Robert Gammon, piano; September 15, Flauti Felice, flute ensemble; October 20, Billy Marshall, French horn, and Robert Gammon, piano; November 17, Giocoso Ensemble, wind group; December 8, Ripon Resound Choir.

Maximillian Elliot to give organ recital at dementia-friendly tea series at St Chad’s

Dr Maximillian Elliot: Organ recital at St Chad’s Church

ORGANIST Dr Maximillian Elliott will give the next Dementia Friendly Tea Concert at St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, on April 29.

Max is assistant director of music at St Olave’s Church and All Saints Church, North Street, as well as being the diocesan organ advisor with Robert Sharpe.

“As usual, the format for Max’s recital will be about 45 minutes of classical music followed by tea, coffee and homemade cakes, with a chance to chat,” says co-organiser Alison Gammon.

“The event is a relaxed concert, ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, so we do not mind if the audience wants to talk or move about!

“Seating is unreserved and there’s no charge, although donations are welcome. We give the hire cost to the church and the rest goes to Alzheimer’s charities.”

Dates for the monthly series of Thursday concerts are in the diary up to Christmas, all starting at 2.30pm: May 19, Isobel Parsons, cello, and Robert Gammon, piano; June 16, Peter and Julia Harrison, flute and poetry reading; July 21, Hannah Feehan, guitar; August 25, Robert Gammon.

Then come: September 15, Flauti Felice, flute ensemble; October 20, Billy Marshall, French horn, and Robert Gammon, piano; November 17, Giocoso Ensemble, wind group; December 8, Ripon Resound Choir.

The church has wheelchair access via the church hall. A small car park is complemented by on-street parking along Campleshon Road, “but it can get busy, so do allow plenty of time,” forewarns Alison. “We hope you will be able to come to the concerts, where it’s lovely to see new faces along with the regulars.”

Alison and Robert Gammon to play dementia-friendly tea concert delayed by two years at St Chad’s Church on Thursday

Pianist Robert Gammon

DEMENTIA Friendly Tea Concerts re-start at St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, on Thursday afternoon after a two-year hiatus.

Alison Gammon, clarinet, and Robert Gammon, piano, will be giving the concert programme first planned for March 2020 but ruled out by the first Covid-19 lockdown.

“We are excited to be doing the Saint-Saëns clarinet sonata and the lovely Fantasy Pieces by the Danish composer Niels Gade,” says Alison. “As March 17 is St Patrick’s Day, we felt that an Irish composer should be represented too, so Robert will play two Nocturnes by John Field that will make a serene interlude.”

The 2.30pm event resumes the established format of 45 minutes of classical music, followed by tea, coffee and homemade cakes. “This relaxed concert is ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, so we don’t mind if the audience wants to talk or move about,” says Alison.

“Seating is unreserved and there’s no charge, although donations are welcome. We give the hire cost to the church and the rest goes to Alzheimer’s charities.”

In addition to a small car park at the church, street parking is available along Campleshon Road. Wheelchair access to St Chad’s is via the church hall.

Alison and Robert Gammon to perform Dementia Friendly Tea Concert at St Chad’s

Pianist Robert Gammon

HUSBAND and wife Robert and Alison Gammon will perform the next Dementia Friendly Tea Concert at St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, on March 19.

The afternoon entertainment will take the usual format of a 45-minute programme of classical music at 2.30pm, followed by tea, coffee and homemade cakes. 

Alison, on clarinet, and Robert, on piano, will play Camille Saint-Saens’ Clarinet Sonata alongside Niels Gade’s Fantasy Pieces.

“Gade was a 19th century Danish composer who taught Edvard Grieg and was a friend of both Felix Mendelsohnn and Robert Schumann,” says Alison. “In fact, the Fantasy Pieces are rather like Schumann at times. Robert will play some Debussy and Chabrier for solo piano too.”

Looking ahead, Alison says: “We’re well advanced with the planning for the rest of the year, with only May’s concert to confirm. I hope to have a list of dates and musicians to hand out at the next concert on April 16 when we’ll be welcoming The Clementhorpe Piano Trio.”  

No charge applies for these tea concerts, but donations are always welcome. “Any money left over from heating the church and tuning the piano is sent to the Alzheimer’s Society,” says Alison. 

“Everyone is welcome at these relaxed events and the concerts provide an opportunity for people who may not be able to attend a formal classical recital to experience live music.

“Please note, there is a small car park at St Chad’s and some roadside parking nearby, but we recommend that you come early. I shall bring some hand sanitiser for use before eating if anyone is worried about viruses.”