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Youth Performance Day


Young musicians from around the region took part in the Performance Day, with panelists Benjamin Ellin, Stephen Wild and Sarah Reece giving each performer advice and tips to help with their musical learning. There were 9 beginner and 5 advanced musicians who all gave excellent performances and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to everyone who took part - from pre-grade 1 all the way to diploma level.

“Lovely experience for the musicians with a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. Venue was excellent and I think perfect for the occasion. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to all performances and great for the students to see and hear other instruments. Would definitely sign up again in the future.” 

"A lovely day, thank you. Very supportive and encouraging staff, really well organised. Venue perfect size for the day, not intimidating and very comfortable."

“A wonderful opportunity for the children in an incredibly supportive environment. A phenomenal gathering of professionals to support the young people with wise words, genuine smiles and helpful encouragement. We are looking forward to next year already.” 

"A thoroughly enjoyable experience which built confidence in a friendly environment with informative constructive feedback."

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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

Sunday Concert Series & Other Professional Events


Sunday Concert Series: De Mowbray's Musicke

Sunday 16 April 2023

Gallery One, Thirsk Hall

After performing at Thirsk Hall Festival in 2022, De Mowbray's Musicke returned in April to bring us stories, music and lots of instruments! The duo's performance, named 'Norman Invasion', took the audience through France, the UK and Scandinavia on a journey of learning and a few surprises!


Sunday Concert Series: Cello

Sunday 20 November 2022

Gallery One, Thirsk Hall

Jessica Burroughs presented a hugely contrasting programme of pieces for our audience, from Bach to Imogen Holst. Titled 'The Fall of the Leaf' it was the perfect, if a little chilly, way to spend a late Autumn afternoon!


Sunday Concert Series: So I'm not a Princess?!

Sunday 11 September 2022

Gallery One, Thirsk Hall

Taking the audience through a hilarious story of trials and tribulations of a self-proclaimed princess, Eleanor Sandars delighted us with songs from musicals and Disney productions.

We truly hope Eleanor can bring her one-woman cabaret back to Thirsk soon!

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An Evening of Jazz

Saturday 21 May 2022

Thirsk Town Hall

Joined by some of the most talented musicians in the North (and a few from slightly further South!), the Evening of Jazz filled the Town Hall with the classics we all know and love. With catering by the wonderful Bute Pizza we dined, drank and sang our way through 2 hours of exquisite music. An Evening of Jazz WILL be returning to Thirsk!


Sunday Concert Series: Woodwind Trio

Sunday 19 June 2022

Gallery One, Thirsk Hall

The first of our new Sunday Concert Series, bringing the best musicians to Gallery One, the beautiful newly renovated barn in the stunning grounds of Thirsk Hall. Opera North musicians Andrew Mason, Richard Hewitt and Adam Mackenzie inspired our audience with woodwind music from Mozart to Ibert, giving us an introduction to their wonderful instruments and how they work.


Sunday Concert Series: Bass Trombone

Sunday 17 July 2022

Gallery One, Thirsk Hall

Following on from the woodwind trio last month, Christian Jones joined us from Opera North with all things Bass Trombone. Our audience were introduced to the power and dexterity of the instrument, and some even had a go! With the help of accompanist Jenny Martins, Christian educated and entertained, including one of our Music Director Benjamin Ellin's early compositions for Bass Trombone.


Come and Play Day

Sunday 12th May 2024

Thirsk Town Hall

Shostakovich 5 and Sibelius Karelia Suite brought musicians from far and wide, as well as from the local area, to Thirsk for a wonderful day of rehearsing. Overwhelming feedback and demand for another one again soon!

De Mowbray Songbook Exhibition. Benjamin Ellin. Rural Arts. Community Project. Thirsk.

De Mowbray Songbook Exhibition

Tuesday 10 - Saturday 14 August 2021

Rural Arts, Thirsk

15 stunning pieces of art created by local (and some further afield) artists in response to the 7 sonatas composed by Benjamin Ellin during lockdown. Using the QR codes or provided mp3 players, visitors listened to the music as they walked around the exhibition.


Come and Sing Day

Saturday 5th October 2022

Thirsk Town Hall

A workshop involving singers from around the region and even further afield. The day focused on the music of Vaughan Williams in the year of his 150th birthday. We spent the day working on Dona Nobis Pacem and Three Shakespeare Songs. The sound was beautiful and especially poignant with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.


Come and Play Day

Sunday 20th March 2022

Thirsk Town Hall

The biggest challenge so far - Mahler 5 in a day! 50 orchestral musicians rose to it and with hard work and excellent humour, the process was a very enjoyable one, with everyone pushed out of their comfort zones at times to pull off an amazing feat of music.

Community Events

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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

"Really interesting and well thought out. Art & music communicating with each other & expressing community values.

Lovely - thank you."

Visitor to the De Mowbray Songbook Exhibition

"The whole day just spurred me on to do more practising & get in as much orchestral playing as I can. I love playing my Cello with others. The conductor & musicians were all so friendly & made the day great fun ...yet also great practice for producing a good sound & making sense of the music."

Participant at the Come and Play Day

"A lovely day. I was nervous about what to expect but I needn't have worried. Ben and Emily were so welcoming and encouraging. Thank you for such an enjoyable day." 

Participant at the Come and Play Day

 "I hope this was the first of many!"

Participant at the Come and Sing Day

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