Preview: Spirit of Music Festival

Held mainly in the spring each year, in Liss and Petersfield, the Festival aims to ‘Create, Nurture and Inspire’ across a broad range of musical styles and mediums by holding concerts, talks and workshops which are fully inclusive.

This year’s Festival runs from 28 April to 6 May.

The area is blessed with a large number of expert and professional musicians, many with international reputations, and the common desire is to share good music in a way which can be enjoyed by everybody.

Local composers are encouraged and showcased, music students share their learning, and both children and adults can participate in enjoyable workshops to gain new experiences in making music under the guidance of enthusiastic experts.

Equally, people who just want to hear good music played brilliantly in concerts which are both local and inexpensive, are delighted with what is on offer every year.

See our Concerts and Workshops page for details of this year’s events:

Saturday, 28th April, 2018

To open the annual Spirit of Music Festival, St Peter’s Church in The Square, Petersfield, will host to two free concerts and a workshop on Saturday.

In the lunchtime concert at 1:00pm, the renowned Parnassian Ensemble with Sara Deborah Timossi (violin), recent winner of the International Bonporti Competition, will explore Handel’s music alongside that of composers with whom he was associated.  Pieces by Telemann, Quantz, Croft and of course the great man himself. Free entry, with a retiring collection.

At 3:00pm, there is a ‘Come & Sing’ event, open to all choral singers, to learn the five Spirituals from Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time.  This will be led by Mark Biggins, chorus-master of the English National Opera.  Participants can register by email via  The fee is £10 to include music hire.  Participants will then be able to sing the Spirituals with the choir and orchestra during the evening performance of the whole work.

Then, the big event is at 7:30pm, when The Petersfield Choir and the Southdowns Camerata and four professional soloists, under the baton of Mark Biggins, perform A Child of Our Time in concert.  British composer Sir Michael Tippett’s oratorio was written against the background of World War Two.  It contains a strongly pacifist message that emphasises the need of inner healing and reconciliation to overcome hatred and violence.  Its timeless philosophy is carried by a music of transcendental beauty that is powerful, fragile and intensely moving.  Also in the programme is the lively and joyful Danzon No. 2 by Marquez. Admission free with retiring collection. See concert page.

Sunday, 29th April

At 4:00pm, there is a workshop in St Mary’s Church, Liss for all instrumentalists of any ability, led by the ZRI team…see below.  Come and learn some gypsy-swing rhythms!

At 6:00pm is the ZRI Concert: ‘Cellar Sessions’ …combining the raucous energy of an impromptu pub session with the style and sophistication of the concert hall.  Once again, the gypsy-jazz treatment will delight you!

Monday, 30th April

At 7:30pm in The United Reformed Church Hall, Petersfield (opposite The Good Intent pub) renowned film-maker, John Bridcut, will be showing his film The Passions of Vaughan Williams, revealing much of the composer’s musical and private life.  Not to be missed!

And there’s more on the following weekend of 5th / 6th May!  See for full details.


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