We’re so lucky in Newbury to have some fantastic and world-class events. I’ve just received a copy of the Newbury Spring Festival line-up which looks amazing. As ever, my eye was drawn first and foremost to the Sound Beginnings event at Sheepdrove.

The annual event is a lovely introduction to classical music for small children who are invited to listen to the fabulously-talented husband-and-wife team Mikhail Kazakevich and Elena Zozina who perform at back-to-back pianos accompanied by lively narration by Richard Norris.

It’s informal and cosy and if you get there early, you can nab a bean bag to relax on as you appreciate the music. Sheepdrove’s surroundings and acoustics are perfect for an intimate performance of this size.





It’s also perfectly-timed at about an hour meaning a balance is struck between children having the opportunity to hear and understand the story, while there’s not enough time to get bored. After the main performance, there’s usually the opportunity for children to get up near to the instruments and see the pianists’ flying fingers at close quarters. That is 100 times more powerful than nagging them to do their piano practice!

This year it’s Sleeping Beauty and prices include lunch:

Sunday 8th May, Sheepdrove Eco Centre, Lambourn
10.00am & 12 noon
£15.00 adults
£8.50 children over 5 years
£45 family ticket
Under 5’s free

Other events to look forward to at the Spring Festival include Clare Teal who is performing her with her “mini big band” trio.

I spoke to Clare Teal recently and she is officially awesome. She’s going to be performing songs from the Great American Song Book and when we spoke, asked me if there was such a thing as a Newbury gin as she is buying regional gins from every place she tours.

The line-up is here:


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