Visiting young musicians gave us two brilliant performances

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SERVICE: Deputy mayor Adrian Vertigan laid flowers in memory of the victims of the Tunisia tragedy

Calling themselves Impulse, graduating students from the school have been heading this way for the past 10 years as part of an outreach programme which includes teaching time in local schools.

Luckily, every visit also finds time for a couple of concert performances which display the amazing talents of these gifted players.

All of them have just taken their final A-level exams and await results in mid-August which will determine their future plans. The first concert was in All Saints’ Church, Kettlestone. On a sunlit summer evening you would be hard put to come across a more joyous demonstration of youthful musical brilliance. And whilst the emphasis was mainly classical, highlighted for me by a stunning performance of the rondo from Mozart’s oboe quartet featuring the brilliance of Hannah Condliffe as soloist, the mix had more than its share of surprises. Music buffs will be familiar with Bach’s double violin concerto but never, surely, in an arrangement featuring saxophone and double bass. This jazzy rendition by Sophia Alexandra and Jess Price was terrific.

Entrance for the event was free which encouraged a good audience to turn out but there was a retiring collection divided between the church tower repair fund – one of the few octagonal towers in Norfolk – and expenses for the Purcell stars. It was, quite rightly, very generously supported.

The following evening the caravan had moved a few miles north to the Old Chapel in South Creake run by the famous Yorke Trust.

This second concert was flying the banner of Fakenham Classic Music which was set up a few years back by local music teacher Dawn Wakefield. As a not-for-profit arrangement, Dawn has been successful in bringing top-quality music to Fakenham at affordable prices, most of them based at our Methodist church. Long may it continue – and continue to be well supported.

In the more intimate environment of the chapel, the sounds produced by the Purcell 18 year-olds was, if anything, even more impressive.

There were some welcome repeats of compositions performed at Kettlestone but also quite a few new pieces. Accompanied by pianist Mary-Kate Gill, the pick of the crop for me was the intense playing of the 2nd movement of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto by the wonderful Nina Kiva. In lighter mood we were all sent on our way at the end with the sound of Gershwin’s It Ain’t Necessarily So joyfully ringing in our ears. Thanks to violinist Victoria Gill.

We must hope that under the wing of organiser Alison Cox this annual treat continues to be anticipated by both these amazing graduates and the audiences here looking forward to welcoming them.

It may only have been a small gathering at our war memorial but the shared experience of paying respects to those killed in the Tunisian beach resort of Sousse was definitely worthwhile.

Retired priest Roger Munday led a brief service with deputy mayor Adrian Vertigan laying flowers on the steps of the memorial itself. As new parents we had spent a week’s holiday on that same beach with a toddler in tow and although it was many years ago the images of the horror which took place there so recently seemed even more shocking.