top of page


deMMFest Logo on white2.jpg
De Mowbray Music Festival 2023


Heritage Opera thrilled audiences at the Festival for the second year in a row, with their performance of Cavalleria Rustciana and Pagliacci. The performance, under the direction of Sarah Helsby Hughes included seven in the cast, fifteen in the Festival Orchestra and seven in the Community Chorus, as well as two dancers from the local Butterflies School of Dance, with Music Director Benjamin Ellin.
Herriot Hospice Homecare provided refreshments in the interval, raising £659 from this event and their raffle at the Evening of Jazz.

Musical Trail
Community performers ‘popped up’ around town, including
Butterflies School of Dance and Performing Arts, Thirsk Royal
British Legion Band, Samba provided by Ian Bangay and many
more wonderful musicians. The trail took followers around some
of the small businesses in the town, supporting coffee shops,
book shops and residential care home cafes. Children collected
stamps as they went round the 10 acts and joined in with the
samba in the market place.


Evening of Jazz

The 9-piece band, led by trumpeter Jacob Phillips provided a
hugely enjoyable evening at Thirsk Racecourse. The setting was
beautiful, with access to the rooftop terrace topping off a great
night, particularly as the sun set coincided with the interval. With
vocals from Eleanor Sandars, who enthralled guests with her
powerful voice and vibrant stage present, the evening was
enjoyed by 120 guests, several asking directly for more nights
like this in Thirsk.

Film & Orchestra

The Ritz Cinema again hosted the Festival Orchestra, made up
of eleven musicians including members of Opera North and the
current AMD of the West End’s The King and I, directed once
again by Benjamin Ellin. The event included a short video by
Herriot Hospice Homecare. The orchestra fit perfectly with the
silent black and white Charlie Chaplin film, offering the
audience a glimpse into the past, with a film released in the
same year the cinema was converted from a Mechanics Hall.

“This was living evidence of what can come from dedicated individuals and groups, collaborating at all levels can deliver for a community. There should be only one way up - to engage even larger and varied audiences with continuing quality productions.” Article in the Darlington & Stockton Times
“Herriot Hospice Homecare is so grateful to have been supported by this year’s De Mowbray Music Festival. From providing refreshments for the opera at St Mary’s, to holding a raffle during an Evening of Jazz at Thirsk Racecourse, it was an incredibly special and thoroughly enjoyable weekend. We have loved being part of the festival this year, and extend our thanks to everyone involved with planning and running the festival for their support.” 
Herriot Hospice Homecare
Thirsk Hall & Church.jpg
Thirsk Hall Festival 2021/22
“The Festival was a charitable gift to Thirsk and all who attended its events. The varied contributions, the melding of musical forms and worlds, provided something for every taste. But the standout point was the quite exceptional quality of the performers and performances which brought audiences to their feet in admiration and thanks.”

— A Letter of Thanks to the Darlington & Stockton Times from Dr John R Gibbins