Free concerts as Waterlooville Music Festival begins

READY TO GO Festival organisers Mike Sheffield and Jane Rice-Oxley at St George's Church. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131535-1)
READY TO GO Festival organisers Mike Sheffield and Jane Rice-Oxley at St George's Church. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (131535-1)
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PREPARE for an explosion of sound across Waterlooville tomorrow as free concerts kick off the town’s annual music festival.

Father Mike Sheffield and Jane Rice-Oxley have spent a year organising Waterlooville Music Festival, which is based around St George’s Church. As well as the usual shows encompassing a wide range of musical genres there will also be a first this year.

Father Mike said: ‘In 2012 the festival committee commissioned a new work by the composer Roderick Starr from Emsworth.

‘The composition is called Scherzo Grandioso and will be performed by the Meridian Wind Band, which is busy rehearsing for a hectic summer of concerts.

‘The band is conducted by Don Lloyd, but he is stepping aside to allow the composer himself to premiere this new work.

‘This is just the beginning of an exciting new initiative as we are about to launch an annual competition for a new composition.

‘If a suitable piece is especially written and submitted it will be performed at next year’s Last Night of the Proms.’

The concerts begin tomorrow with a day of free Market Place Music by performers around the town centre, feature bands, opera singers, choristers and schoolchildren.

There will be bands on the front lawn of the church where the summer fete is taking place.

In the evening, St George’s will turn into Dragon Jazz Club.

Lady and the Tramps are coming from London to play for the first time at the festival to support Oh Madam, the popular Portsmouth-based jazz band.

Mark Rice-Oxley, from Lady and the Tramps, is an author and a news editor at The Guardian newspaper.

His mum Jane is the organiser of the event.

Throughout next week there will a folk, classical, jazz, handbells and the Band of the Hampshire Constabulary. And for evening shows there is a real ale and wine bar open from 6pm.

For more information on where to buy tickets and the full programme, go to