Between June 3rd and 14th the Festival will be celebrating its Eleventh Birthday in this beautiful Yorkshire Dales market town noted for its warm welcome and spectacular scenery, and all this a mere handful of miles off junction 37 on the M6. Concerts take place in the lovely St Andrew’s Church, whose earliest foundations date back to 1130. The church is in the very centre of the town with convenient adjacent parking.

Topping the bill are:

  • An unmissable recital by world famous Red Priest, the virtuoso baroque music band, brainchild of recorder wizard Piers Adams with their huge following
  • The rafter-raising Cottontown Chorus
  • The Castalia String Quartet from Cumbria
  • Sedbergh’s own admired orchestra
  • The local Sedbergh Town Brass Band
  • Local medieval band Cornucopia with a full music+narration of Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale
  • Talented young musicians of the world famous Chetham’s Hospital Music School
  • Cellist Joe Davies, currently conducting in Birmingham
  • And, of course, young musicians from Sedbergh School.

In addition to our evening performances there are daily lunchtime concerts, many with buffet meals available beforehand.

We are delighted that the Right Reverend James Newcombe has agreed to be our President for this bi-annual Festival.

Event list

Wednesday 3rd June 2020 1:00pm

Jessica Duchen – ‘Words and Music’

An illustrated musical talk by critic, journalist & music-lover Jessica Duchen, author of the Beethoven novel ‘Immortal’.

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Wednesday 3rd June 2020 7:30pm

Castalia String Quartet

In past Festivals, this quartet has taken us to all the major quartet composers in the repertoire. This year Mozart K589, and, excitingly, Jen Hartley’s String Quartet No 1 and maybe more riches to come

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Thursday 4th June 2020 1:00pm

Sedbergh School’s Young Musicians

Significant talent on our doorstep

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Thursday 4th June 2020 8:00pm

Sedbergh Orchestra

The central work of the performance will be Carnival of Animals’ by Saint-Saens but it will also include Dvorak’s Carnival Overture.

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Friday 5th June 2020 1:00pm

The Topsy Turvy World Of Gilbert & Sullivan

Judith Buckle and Matthew Craven celebrate with words  and music the hugely successful theatrical partnership of W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur  Sullivan.

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Friday 5th June 2020 7:30pm

Bach to the Future

Percussion led bebop meets German Baroque, keyboard glistened jazz melds with high polyphony. This is Bach played the way you never thought he could be in this concert for all ages, played with love and respect for Bach, as well as showing energy for the future.

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Saturday 6th June 2020 11:00am


Another chance to hear Carnival of Animals by Saint-Saens along with Jen Hartley and Anna Markland

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Saturday 6th June 2020 7:30pm

Cottontown Chorus

National close harmony champions who brought the packed house down in 2014. We are really thrilled to have them back. An evening of rollicking fun, fine musicianship in prospect.

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Monday 8th June 2020 1:00pm

Sedbergh Songsters entertain

A real community event.

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Monday 8th June 2020 7:30pm

Encore Opera

Cumbria’s talented ensemble and the world of grand opera.

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Tuesday 9th June 2020 1:00pm

Julian Cann (violin)

Julian Cann will be accompanied on the piano by David Battersby. In 2018, they gave us Bach and York Bowen, this year the duo will give us Elgar and the wonderful César Franck sonata.

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Tuesday 9th June 2020 7:30pm


After an amazing Gawain and the Green Knight in 2018, they move to a dramatic musical reading of Chaucer’s wickedly satirical ‘Nun’s Priest’s Tale’

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Wednesday 10th June 2020 1:00pm

Damian Howard (organ)

Damian Howard’s career spans posts at Durham, Lincoln and Blackburn Cathedrals, and is currently Director of Music at Lancaster Cathedral. He plans to play major works by Charles Tournremire and Naji Hakim.

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Wednesday 10th June 2020 7:30pm

Jen Hartley and Friends

Jen Hartley (piano) brings Sarah Jilian Cox, and Fiona Mullaney [as Virgina Woolf] to entertain.

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Thursday 11th June 2020 1:00pm

Chetham’s Hospital Young Musicians

Every recital they bring us is a revelation, and helps to map where classical music will be in the next generation.

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Thursday 11th June 2020 7:30pm

Trio Volant (oboe, clarinet, bassoon)

The Trio were awarded the Dorothy Parkinson Memorial Award for Young British Musicians 2017 and are currently Recommended and Selected Artists for Making Music 2019-2020. In this performance they will tackle the known and unknown from Mozart to Canteloube to Cecilia MacDowall.

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Friday 12th June 2020 1:00pm

Tipping Points

Readings that centre on real and metaphorical cliff edges!

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Friday 12th June 2020 8:00pm

Sedbergh Town Band

Our local experts in brass band repertoire will as usual pack the place

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Saturday 13th June 2020 1:00pm

St George’s Occasional Singers with Howard Seymour

The programme includes pieces by Tavener and MacMillan, Parry’s celebrated ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’, a selection from Three English Masses -William Byrd, Vaughan Williams, Jonathan Dove, and some English Folk songs and Part Songs on the theme Love Across The Water.

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Saturday 13th June 2020 7:30pm

Red Priest

Hugely regarded international headliners. Piers Adams and his gang. Remember their astonishing Bohemian Baroque concert in 2018? Unmissable.

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Sunday 14th June 2020

Morning Service

Morning Service: in St Andrew’s Church sung by the Sedbergh School Chapel Choir, one of the five finalists of this year’s prestigious BBC Young Choir of the Year competition.

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Booking info

Tickets will be available from 2nd March 2020, both online and ‘over the counter’ at the Sedbergh Information and Book Centre.

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