About the Bluehouse Festival
The Festival is sponsored by Oxted United Reformed Church as a result of a legacy from the late Mrs Irene Snelling. This biennial Arts Festival is a hugely popular selection of attractive, diverse and entertaining events.
Further details about the Festival can be obtained by contacting the Festival Organisers on firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Parish Magazine of St Peter’s, Limpsfield
The biennial Bluehouse Festival, hosted by Oxted’s United Reformed Church, is always a special occasion, and this year’s, which took place from 24th October to 8th November, once again offered a varied feast of music and drama, film, poetry and prose for both young and old.
Made possible by a generous legacy from the late Irene Snelling, and thanks to the equally generous and far-sighted wisdom of the then church elders, this is an occasion for the whole community of Oxted and Limpsfield. Tickets are reasonably priced, so as to encourage participation, with collections this year shared between the Orpheus Trust and St Catherine’s Hospice.
Those who had the stamina and were able to attend all 20 events in the programme, were given remarkable value. Most of us could only manage two or three, but all were well attended.
Those of us lucky enough to have been invited to the Festival launch were entertained by young musicians sponsored by the Robert Bouffler Trust. 12 year old harpist Heather Brooks, pianist Shreya Singhal, flautist Megan Whiteley, and her horn-playing sister Lydie, performed admirably, before Sir Richard Stilgoe, founder of the Orpheus Trust officially opened the Festival.
The following day Richard Stilgoe and members of the Orpheus Trust led a song writing workshop for 12 young people, who later in the afternoon performed the songs they had composed before an appreciative audience. Working musically together, as Richard Stilgoe said, leads to remarkable results.
Stephen Aviss and Anthony Spargo (“The Cavaliers”), with pianist Maite Aguirre, entertained us later that same evening with a mix of speech and song, ranging from Beethoven to Verdi, Schumann to South Pacific, John Keats to John Cleese, with a great deal of fun and humour in between – a thoroughly enjoyable evening all round.
The highlight for some was the evening with Clare Teal, jazz singer and entertainer; for others the performance by Johan Katz’ Sinfonietta, playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor followed by Brahms’ Symphony No.1. Both were outstanding.
So once again, thank you to the URC for the generosity with which we were made welcome. Thank you David Skitt and the elders of the church for your great contribution to the spirit of community. Thanks to the dedicated organisers – Katherine, Rachel and Sylvia. And thanks also to all those others who workedtirelessly behind the scenes.