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Louis Baylis grant helps Wooburn Festival put on show

A £500 grant from the Louis Baylis Trust will ensure the Wooburn Festival can continue to attract big names for its 53rd year.

This year’s event takes place throughout September and October for two months of music and other cultural attractions.

Acts include three of the 2018 BBC Young Musicians of the Year: Rob Burton, an 18- year-old saxophonist, cellist Maxim Calver, 18, and pianist Lauren Zhang, 17.

The Wooburn Singers and The Barefoot Opera, which will be training schoolchildren from Hurst’s Dolphin School to sing in the chorus, will also be there.

Performances will be held at venues across the area, including All Saints Church in Marlow and Bourne End Community Centre.

The Louis Baylis cash will be used to help fund the event.

Festival chairman Brian Johnson said that despite the organising committee dropping in numbers from about 15 to three, the event is still a great pull for music lovers.

“We are not a charity trying to make thousands of pounds – it is to provide a festival for people to come along to,” he said.

“We have managed a reserve fund but we do not make profit – some years we lose a bit and some we make a bit.”

He added of the festival: “It is really good stuff. The musicians we get are among the best in the country.

“We are offering a mixture. It is not just classical music – we have an art exhibition in the middle of it all, which gives artists the chance to display and sell their works.

“We also have an opera – they will be training up some schoolchildren to sing in the chorus.

“We did that last year and it proved such a success that we sold out for the first time ever. The opera has become quite a treat.”

He added that the organising team is in need of some extra help as the festival approaches.

“I have had to cut down a little this year and because of the sadness of people leaving [the committee] we are in need of help,” Brian said.

For more information and online box office, visit www.wooburn.com

Tickets can also be bought at Bourne End Library in Wakeman Road in person or by phoning 07746 730696.

Phone 0118 9320 949 if you think you can help out with preparations.

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