Gala concert to celebrate 700th anniversary of Ashwicken church

Ashwicken church
Ashwicken church
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The first vicar at Ashwicken was recorded in 1316, and to mark the anniversary All Saints’ Church is celebrating 700 years of history and heritage with a gala concert.

This event is being held on Friday, September 30, starting at 7pm, and tickets are now on sale.

Steve Williamson, churchwarden at All Saints’, says: “Many of you will remember the fabulous concert at Ashwicken church two years ago and we have invited Ivan McCready to return with his new ensemble, The Gala Strings, including Ivan with Caroline Bishop, Tom Leate and Helen Sanders-Hewett.”

Ivan has performed with his cello throughout the world for more than 20 years. He has worked with the Duke Quartet and an array of artists including Jessye Norman, Monserrat Caballe, as well as The Pretenders, Blur, and George Michael, and has been awarded an Associateship to the Royal Academy of Music.

Caroline won a scholarship to study at The Royal Academy of Music from the age 16 and then went on to learn with Itzak Rashkovsky. She has a flourishing and varied orchestral career in Britain, regularly playing at the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as experience with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The BBC Concert Orchestra, The English Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English National Opera and Ballet.

She has worked under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis and Sakari Oramo to name a few.

Thomas Leate was born in Norwich in 1983 and entered the Royal College of Music in 2002. Outside of college, he won the “Norfolk Young Musician of the Year”, the Badminton Trust ‘Most Promising Young String Player’ and received awards from The Norfolk Youth Music Trust. His orchestral career has included concerts and tours with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Southbank Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Helen Sanders-Hewett grew up in Hertfordshire and studied at the University of Birmingham and the Royal Academy of Music. Since then she has embarked upon a busy freelance career playing viola and baroque viola.Recent engagements include accompanying singer Eska for a live show at the Roundhouse, and playing for Opera Holland Park in their production of Alice in Wonderland by Will Todd.

Helen has toured with Alison Balsom, the Neil Cowley Trio, Jazz Jamaica, and the Berakah Project. Her playing has taken her to the Royal Opera House, the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as performing Malcolm Arnold’s chamber music at the composer’s daughter’s house with oboist Malcolm Messiter.

The Quartet has an eclectic programme of music planned with Mozart, Pachelbel, Dvorak and Arvo Part included.

Tickets are being strictly limited and are £10 to include a glass of wine/juice; arrival at 7pm for the concert at 7.30pm at the church. You can book tickets by calling Steve Williamson on 01553 630203 or email to