YOUNG musicians are hitting the high notes as they prepare to perform under a Victorian viaduct to celebrate the launch of Kilver Court Designer Village in Shepton Mallet, Somerset on 14 July.
Sophii Negus, acoustic winner of the Somerset for Talent competition and Alec Poore, a musical theatre student with Stagecoach Dorchester who is based in West Dorset and has played Friedrich in The Sound of Music alongside Connie Fisher, are just two of the young stars who will wow spectators during a weekend of sensational music.
One year ago Mulberry founder Roger Saul opened Kilver Court’s Designer Emporium and has since created 40 jobs and attracted 150,000 shoppers through the doors. Along with the regeneration of derelict space, 7,500 sq ft of new retail space, a new quirky arcade called Silk Lane has been born. Silk Lane will open on 14 July with five new shops – Jack Wills, Toast, LK Bennett, Jane Clayton and Hawick Cashmere. These join the Aubin & Wills, Sharpham Park and Mulberry factory shops, which continue to thrive.
The Music Festival at Kilver Court (Saturday 14 July) sees musicians from Concordia International Ensemble perform under the magnificent viaduct in Kilver Court’s exquisite secret gardens. Sunday Showcase (Sunday 15 July) features acoustic, showtime and jazz, displaying exciting young talent, alongside legendary saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis playing with the Josh Arcoleo Quartet. Tickets cost £25 for Saturday night, with proceeds donated to Concordia and The Bristol Old Vic Young Company. Admission for Sunday is £15, with all profits going to The Prince’s Trust.
The Saturday evening will explode into colour with a breathtaking firework display launched from the Victorian viaduct arching over Kilver’s magnificent gardens. Eight of the UK’s finest cellists will perform a unique programme ranging from Bach to Jimi Hendrix. Then follow virtuoso performances from a sensational international trio made up of violinist Satoko Fukada from Japan, guitarist Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas from Cuba, flautist Gareth McLearnon from Northern Ireland. Also performing will be acclaimed soprano Joanna Marie Skillett.
Sunday Showcase will present some of Somerset’s finest young musicians, from jazz to acoustic and pop to opera with a little bit of improvisation thrown in. You can hear award-winning jazz from Josh Arcoleo and his quartet, supported by world-class pianist Jason Robello. There will be songs from Sophii Negus, acoustic winner of Somerset For Talent, arias from Teresa de Roberto, the star of BBC1′s Tonight’s the Night programme, and there will be a breathtaking performance from violinist Julia Hwang, the finalist in 2012’s Young Musician of the Year contest. Legendary jazz saxophonist, Pee Wee Ellis – also composer and arranger for James Brown and Van Morrison – will be putting in a very special guest performance with his protégé Josh Arcoleo.
The gardens will open from 10am, with the program starting at 12.30pm so bring your rug (and brolly!) and pick your spot on the lawn.
Roger Saul said: ‘We’ve always wanted to do a musical event in the style of Kenwood or Glyndebourne. This summer feels like the perfect opportunity to celebrate the launch of Silk Lane at Kilver Court Designer Village by creating a very intimate weekend of music that crosses all genres. It’s special to be able to celebrate the launch with a weekend of music and fashion that supports brilliant young musicians and programmes that benefit young people.’
Gates open at 5.30pm for concierge shopping and the performance begins at 8pm. Tickets will cost £25 and are available from the Bristol Old Vic Box Office now on 0117 987 7877. There are no seats so people are invited to bring their own rugs.
Catering profits will also be donated to charity, so people are politely requested not to bring their own food and drink. Hampers will be available to pre-order, please contact www.kilvercourt.com
For those who are interested in making the Saturday night even more of an occasion, lavish executive suites at Kilver Court will be converted into a fine dining venue, with eight tables of 10 being served a three-course dinner prior to the concert. These diners will also have their own enclosure during the concert. Tickets for this option cost £100.
PHOTO CAPTION: L-R Former Dior model Monty Saul, Kilver Court brand manager Freddie Saul, Mulberry founder Roger Saul, musical theatre star Alec Poore, Somerset For Talent acoustic winner Sophii Negus.
NOTES TO EDITORS: For images and more information please call Emily Pykett at Watershed PR on 01308 420785 or email email@example.com
About Kilver Court: Just over a year ago Kilver Court was a tired, monolithic Victorian office block on the edge of Shepton Mallet, and with one in four shops closed on the High Street, things looked grim for its future. However, July last year saw the beginning of a rebirth of a site that has the most fascinating history – from a thriving 18th-century textile mill, to the home of Babycham and then the headquarters of Mulberry. Roger Saul set out with a dream to bring the best designer brands to this small industrial town and create a new designer outlet concept around regeneration and recycling, promising an ambitious £10million investment plan. Last July saw the launch of the newly invigorated Kilver Court, set in regenerated textile mills and with stand-alone outlets from Mulberry and Aubin & Wills plus the Designer Emporium. One year on, Kilver Court Designer Village has become a reality. On 14 July five new outlet shops will open, including Jack Wills, Toast, and LK Bennett to join Mulberry, Aubin & Wills and more to make 10 shops, a café and gardens, completing the first phase of the development in record time.
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