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Sandbach Concert Series is a non-profit arts organisation run entirely by volunteers. It was started in 2010 and has been very successful and well attended. We have eight concerts a year at St Mary’s Church Hall with a deliberately early start and finish time, as well as reasonable ticket prices to encourage more families and younger people to attend classical music concerts.
The structure of every concert is the same with a half hour Spotlight concert by young musicians, followed by a half hour interval with an art exhibition by a local artist as well as a raffle to support a local good cause, and then a one hour concert by top class professional musicians. This Concert Series is unique in the UK and has been well received by musicians and the local community alike.
Your young person and the Sandbach Concert Series
Each young person (or Ensemble/Group) play for a maximum of 3 to 5 minutes each during the 30 minute Spotlight Concert from 7pm to 7.30pm. The professional musicians are selected and booked for the forthcoming year and so, for each concert, we try to select Spotlight musicians with similar instruments or sound from accordion to voice to zither.
Did you know that it is part of the Professional musician’s contract to be present and listen to the Spotlight Concert? The professional musicians have greatly appreciated listening to the Spotlight Artistes and as such, usually give feedback during their concert in the second half. Spotlight performers (and their families) are encouraged to stay for the whole concert, listening to the professional artists who can provide great inspiration.
The ticket prices are for the whole concert and there is no reduction for just listening to the first half. However a discount for the first parent or guardian of each Spotlight musician has been arranged so you can claim one adult ticket for just £3. Further adults are at the usual price of £9.50, or £8 for concessions, whilst children are £3. If appropriate, a special family ticket for two adults and two children will be available on the door at £14.50 (normally £20) instead of taking advantage of the first £3 adult ticket. Naturally the young musician taking part does not purchase a ticket to stay for the main concert and we would like to encourage our young musicians to stay until the end at 9pm.
The eight concerts each series are on the last Wednesday of the month in September, October, November, February, March, April, May and June. Doors open at 6.30pm and each event ends by 9pm.
Parental consent forms (available online or from your young person’s music teacher) are required no later than two weeks before the concert including any piano accompaniment music. This is vital for the organisation of the Spotlight Concert and to include your young person’s name in the programme.
Rehearsal for Spotlight musicians on the night of the concert is from 5.15pm to 6.15pm. Please “sign in” with a volunteer at the main door so that we know who is in the building. The Spotlight Director (Kevin Birch) who organises the Spotlight concerts, will give each young person the opportunity to perform on the stage with the appropriate accompaniment and will go through valuable stage etiquette such as when to go on the stage during the concert and accepting applause!
Reflecting the professionalism of the Sandbach Concert Series, smart dress is required for the Spotlight Performers (no jeans – school uniform is suitable).
Spotlight Performers may want to bring a small snack and refreshment as they may be with us from 5.30pm through to 9pm. Some snacks and soft drinks are available to purchase from the bar during the interval.
During the Spotlight Rehearsals, the “Box Office” will be open to Spotlight Parents/Guardians only from 6.15pm to purchase your tickets whilst other volunteers will be around helping to set up. We try to keep as quiet as possible during the Spotlight Rehearsals.
5.15pm to 6.15pm Rehearsal in the venue for Spotlight artists
6.30pm to 7pm Break whilst Doors Open and audience comes in. Bar is usually open.
7pm to 7.30pm Spotlight Concert
7.30pm to 8pm Interval (Art exhibition, drawing of Charity Raffle, bar open)
8pm to 9pm Main Concert with prompt finish at 9pm
Photographs of the Spotlight performers are taken with the professional musicians and any VIPs (such as local Mayors or our MP) either during the Interval or sometimes during the Break before the Spotlight concert. Parental/guardian consent is needed if you agree to your child/ward’s photograph being taken. Some photographs may be used in the local newspaper or in the promotion of future concerts, and therefore may be seen on our website or display boards. To protect future online privacy, we will never use any children’s names along with photographs in our own promotions. If you would like a copy of the photograph we can arrange a copy for you to download.
When you leave with your young person, please “sign out” with a volunteer at the main door so that we know they are leaving. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to accompany their young person home.
A big thank you to both our young Spotlight performers for taking part and their parents/guardians for enabling their participation. We hope you really enjoy your experience with Sandbach Concert Series and that one day you can proudly say that you took part and were inspired.