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Chorus of thanks for Creakes festival directors

Fr. Clive Wylie with Simon Rowland-Jones ( left) Barry Cheeseman and Marianne Johnson who has also been involved with the festival from the start MLNF14PB08310 ANL-140827-175607001

Fr. Clive Wylie with Simon Rowland-Jones ( left) Barry Cheeseman and Marianne Johnson who has also been involved with the festival from the start MLNF14PB08310 ANL-140827-175607001

Music lovers used subterfuge to thank two men who helped establish the North Norfolk Music Festival as a major event in the classical calendar.

Simon Rowland-Jones and Barry Cheeseman have been the festival directors from its start 10 years ago.

Now held over 12 packed days each August, it grew out of an idea by Francesca Makins.

It is centred on St Mary’s parish church, South Creake, but events this year also took place in the Marble Hall at Holkham, St Mary’s church, South Raynham, and North Creake village hall.

Mr Rowland-Jones and Mr Cheeseman were enticed by the Friends of the Festival with phone messages suggesting urgent problems required them to rush to the church – only to find themselves greeted by a candle-lit pop-up restaurant organised to celebrate their efforts.

Mr Rowland-Jones, a performer and composer, attended the world-famous Yehudi Menuhin school. He teaches at the Royal College of Music and has played to audiences in Europe and from Singapore and Australia to the USA.

Mr Cheeseman, an opera lover, is involved in organising cultural holiday tours – many on a musical theme – to some 40 countries around the world.

Like Mr Rowland-Jones, he is based in Burnham Market.

An indicator of how the festival has grown under their direction was underlined by an audience of some 300 at just one performance this year, exceeding the total audience at the three concerts featured in the first festival in 2005.

During its existence the festival has attracted more than 140 top-class performers. It is now so well established that it is attracting some of the biggest names in the musical world.

Each event is preceded by a dinner, although audience members can also picnic in the church grounds.

Rector of the Creakes, Fr. Clive Wylie, said: “The festival now is going from strength to strength.

“We are very happy to host it in St Mary’s which is the home of this festival and we are hoping it will continue for may more years led by Simon and Barry.”

 
 
 

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