Letters: Peter Barker, December 2, 2016

King's Lynn Corn Exchange projecting the Belguim Flag Colour in rememberence of the bombing attacks. ANL-160324-205914009
King's Lynn Corn Exchange projecting the Belguim Flag Colour in rememberence of the bombing attacks. ANL-160324-205914009
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The Corn Exchange has just published its new programme for January to April.

It has to be said it is a very full programme of high quality entertainment.

I am delighted to see that the stars of Strictly Come Dancing are coming to Lynn on several occasions. As someone who enjoys most types of music I see that there are many opportunities to enjoy a wide range of rock and pop bands. There is also a good range of pantomime and other events suitable for children, six in all.

However, the economics of live shows leans very heavily in favour of comedy (16 shows) and popular music or tribute bands (24 shows). Dance is given four shows, folk one and five other events including a fleamarket and a wedding festival.

There are no performances of plays for the theatre. Nothing at all.

My main concern is that the Corn Exchange hosts a paltry two events of classical music, the wonderful Norfolk Symphony Orchestra and Ellen Kent Opera performing La Boheme yet again.

I appreciate that the Corn Exchange has to pay its way and that popular music and comedy are reliable sources of income, but surely it must be possible to find a bit more room for classical music and the many brilliant performers who have no platform for their talents.

The King’s Lynn Festival in the summer is wonderful, but flits across the calendar in a mere two weeks. It is an oasis of classical music.

But I struggle with being a thirsty camel waiting for the next season of chamber music, symphonies etc. Children above all get no chance to tune into classical music and if they go to their local library, they will find no CDs of classical music.

It is against this background that a new not-for-profit organisation “Classical Music Rocks” has been set up to bring live classical music to all the primary school children of Lynn and North West Norfolk. High quality musicians and graduates of the Royal College of Music have been visiting local schools this autumn, with over 300 children being introduced to instruments and classical music.

I would ask the public to support this venture. If 100 kind citizens donated £1 a month we would be well on our way to maintaining this programme in future years.

Do contact us: classicalmusicrocks@mail.com

Peter Barker, Chairman, Classical Music Rocks