Borealis are a professional chamber choir based in the North of England, drawing their membership from among the finest singers residing in the North.
With a mission to give performances of the highest quality, focusing on northern England whilst also touring further afield and abroad. Alongside the standard choral repertoire, they aim to present ambitious and exciting programmes and similarly innovative recordings, often bringing to light music and composers who have not received the recognition they deserve.
Their first recording, due in early 2019 on the Toccata Classics label, embodies this mission, and will be the first volume in a series comprising the complete choral works of Austrian–Jewish émigré composer Hans Gál (1890–1987). Some of these pieces will feature in their Gala Concert performance in June 2019.
Although Borealis was formally established as recently as 2016, most of their singers are or have been leading members of two of the region's most accomplished and longstanding ensembles, the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds and Orion Chamber Choir. Their members also perform with a variety of other high-profile ensembles and cathedral choirs.
United as a single choir of 16–20 singers, and directed by Bridget Budge and Steve Muir, these voices combine to produce a uniquely rich yet agile sound, a perfect blend of youthful vibrancy and a solid bedrock of experience.
"Quite possibly the world's most beautiful female voice" (Mojo Magazine).
Raised in the small village of Dungiven, Northern Ireland, Cara has risen to become one of the finest exponents of traditional Irish song anywhere in the world. Occupying an enviable position at the very top of her genre, Cara has been captivating audiences and achieving exceptional acclaim for over 20 years. Her album, Hill of Thieves, proved her most successful yet, landing top ten in the UK indie charts, number one on iTunes Folk and Amazon World & Folk charts and voted “Best Album” at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2010. The extraordinary singer makes music that transcends genres and crosses barriers:
“To me, the melody and message is at the forefront of everything I do. It’s whether it strikes a note in my heart, does it haunt me? I’m looking for something that touches me deeply, and I feel like I’m the vessel for letting it live on.” Cara Dillon
Alongside a selection of favourites from her previous releases, Cara will be performing material from her new album "Wanderer" which is a collection of beautiful and moving songs recorded with husband and musical partner, Sam Lakeman.
If you don’t know the voice of Cara Dillon, you’re in for a treat. If you are already amongst her legions of admirers around the world, you know you have something special in store.
Constitutional historian and radio and television presenter David Starkey explores the misconceptions that our modern Royals are in some way more radical in their actions than their ancestors.
The marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, when the second son of the Prince of Wales married a divorced American actress of mixed race and uncertain religion, was seen as marking a fundamental modernisation of the British monarchy.
Actually, it was only a return to the 14th century when one of the many sons of King Edward III married a twice-divorced merry widow who’d eloped with her first husband at the age of 12; another a part-Moorish Spanish princess who (it is claimed) was a direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad; while a third wed the au pair!
This talk traces the radically shifting marriage customs of the British monarchy, from the laxity of the Middle Ages, through the stringencies of the Hanoverians, to the house of Windsor and its sometimes contorted adaptations to the realities of modern family life. Born the only child of Quaker parents, Starkey attended Kendal Grammar School before studying at Cambridge through a scholarship. Starkey is a well-known radio and television personality, first appearing on television in 1977. He is a regular contributor to the BBC Radio 4 debate programme The Moral Maze, where his acerbic tongue earned him the sobriquet of “rudest man in Britain” and his frequent appearances on Question Time have been received with criticism and applause.
Mr Starkey particularly enjoys the Q& A session at the end of his talk so be prepared with questions! He will also be available after the talk to sign copies of his books.
In a coup for Grassington Festival we have managed to catch Ed on his way up to preview his new show at the Edinburgh Festival. Testing out new material our Festival audience will be the first to get a sneaky peek of what will go on to become his nationwide tour.
In a history of being a test audience for the likes of Lee Evans and Michael Mcintyre, we think you will be in for a brilliant night.
Ed is a regular fixture on television and radio and has appeared on or presented a range of shows on BBC radio, including The Unbelievable Truth and What’s So Funny. He is also a regular panellist on shows like Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You, and has made several memorable appearances on the Graham Norton Show.
Recently, Ed has been involved in more factual television work. He travelled to Central America to co-host the adventurous travel show
Dara and Ed’s Great Big Adventure with Dara Ó Briain and drove across Siberia with Andy Parsons for an episode of World’s Most
Dangerous Roads. He has also done pieces for Countryfile and The One Show, and has appeared on programmes like Science
Club and Volcano Live.
Born and brought up in India, with degrees from Delhi University, Oxford University, the University of Chicago, half a PHD, a successful career in investment banking, three kids and a bizarrely gigantic Labrador, Sindhu Vee decided it was time to make her parents proud and start a career in comedy.
2018 has been an incredible year for Sindhu, starting with her inclusion on Chortle’s Hot List For The Year Ahead. She has filmed appearances for Q.I., Have I Got News For You, and Live At The Apollo, as well as writing and starring in her own Comedy Short for Sky. She is a regular guest on the Guilty Feminist podcast, and has appeared on BBC R4’s The News Quiz and The Now Show. This year Sindhu debuted her own solo stand-up hour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sandhog, which was a complete sell-out, with extra shows added due to demand and a sparkling nomination for Best Newcomer! Sindhu will be kicking off 2019 with a run at London’s Soho Theatre, followed by a UK tour.
Pete Allen is regarded as one of Europe’s most talented and exciting masters of the clarinet.
In 1976 he joined Rod Mason and two years later formed his own professional band. He brought together a musical style and stage presence that has created an enthusiastic following from both traditional jazz fans and those who simply enjoy happy music and songs for listening or dancing.
As a boy, Pete grew up with jazz. He studied the music of the classic greats, especially Ed Hall and Sidney Bechet, two great legends of American jazz clarinet and soprano saxophone. However, Pete has never tried to copy their style. Instead he has developed his own unique, exciting sound.
Over the years, Pete has appeared in many television and radio shows, both with his own band and as a solo artiste. For over five years, he found time to present his own jazz programme for BBC Radio. During his career, Pete has featured as soloist alongside such American greats as “Peanuts” Hucko, Bud Freeman, Bob Wilbur, Marty Grosz, Billy Butterfield, Barrett Deems and Jack Lesberg, and played a number of times with the late British jazz trumpet star Kenny Ball.
He has topped the bill in those magical American homes of jazz, St. Louis, Sacramento and, of course, New Orleans, where he was awarded an Honorary Citizenship for his services to jazz music. In the mid-eighties he was chosen to lead the Worldwide All Stars at the Jazz Jubilee in Sacramento. In 2018, Pete continues to lead his own band, and we can’t wait to welcome them to Grassington!
Join us for our last night party where the mighty “Queens of Rock” will top off our 2019 Festival with a bang of girl power!
Dedicated to female rock legends and powerhouse vocalists of the last 4 decades, three of the UKs most experienced and in demand Rock singers take their audiences on a rollercoaster ride of hits by artists such as Cher, Bonnie Tyler, Heart, Roxette, Pat Benatar, Pink, Tina Turner, Blondie, Stevie Nicks and many more...
Not only featuring some of the most classic rock hits of all time but the show features modern and popular tracks performed in their own unique way, paying tribute and celebrating girl power at its finest.... With outstanding costumes, lights and stage presence the 'Queens' will be a sure hit.
Keeping you in the party mood the concert will be followed by a disco to keep you dancing till the midnight hour!
Released in 1991 Alan Parker’s “The Commitments” was one of the most outstanding films of the 90’s, Taking a band on tour to re-create those generation defining songs is Dave Finnegan who has fronted the touring band for the last ten years.
Playing the character Mickah Wallace the, head butting bouncer & drummer, Dave has performed to in excess of 2 million people! Now with his NEW SENSATIONAL SHOW & his own 8 PIECE BAND he performs tracks from the film & much, much, more!
DAVE FINNEGAN'S COMMITMENTS feature the same commitment to their music, now as they did then, with an instantly recognisable horn section, and that sweet soul rhythm section. On their ongoing journeys they undoubtedly continue where the film left off, still spreading the word of Otis Redding, Wilson and the other apostles of soul, and in doing so enabling us all to experience the essence of sweet soul music.
THIS IS NOT A TRIBUTE - THIS IS THE REAL THING!
Three time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners The Young’uns present a new and unique piece of modern folk theatre.
The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff is the story of one man’s adventure from begging on the streets in the north of England to ﬁghting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, taking in the Hunger Marches and the Battle of Cable Street. It’s a timely, touching and often hilarious musical adventure following the footsteps of one working class hero who witnessed some of the momentous events of the 1930s. With their trademark harmony, honesty and humour the Teesside trio bring together 16 specially composed songs, spoken word, striking imagery and the real recorded voice of Johnny himself to tell a remarkable human story oozing with modern relevance.
“The harmonies are glorious, the wit is waspish. The songs are powerful, the banter is relentless and the audience is happy. What’s not to like? ★★★★★ The Guardian
“Glorious....celebrating the uncelebrated with warmth, vigour and passion” ★★★★ MOJO