Benslow Music School events

From 26th July 2020 until 29th August 2020 All day

Benslow is important to Hitchin. Its ideals trace back to back to the formation of the Rural Music Schools Association (RMSA) in 1929. Mary Ibberson was a Hitchin resident, a Quaker, and a renowned music teacher. ‘It all started when two young men in a small village wanted to play the violin’. Ibberson offered to teach them, and the first Rural Music School was born. At its heart was a passion for sharing the love of music with adults, young and old, regardless of education or demographics. In 1951 a lovely Victorian house bequeathed in 1951 to the RMSA by Esther Seebohm, another Quaker who shared Ibberson’s educational and musical beliefs. Seebohm’s will contained the proviso that her house should be used for ‘the making of music in perpetuity’. Seebohn’s house is the centre of the Benslow campus

Benslow has continued to bring people together to share a love of music, to play and sing, and to listen. As one music-maker commented: ‘This is where happy and magical things happen’ . However, closure of Benslow during lockdown has had dire effects on its finances. To quote Peter Hewitt, Benslow CEO: ‘Our future is perilous….as things stand there is a severe risk that we will not survive beyond late autumn this year’

We are therefore launching a big fund-raising initiative, currently focusing on the month of August. There are 3 main initiatives

  1. Saturdays: Busking for Benslow
  2. Sundays: Afternoon Tea with Palm Court Live Music
  3. Thursdays: Early evening concert series

Saturdays: Busking for Benslow. A variety of great musicians: strings, wind, brass and singing, ranging from classical through to jazz

  1. 11am-3pm, Hitchin Market Square, which will also host al-fresco dining
  2. Started Saturday (25th July) and runs right through August
  3. We’re hoping for cash and card donations, plus the opportunity to sign up to donate to Benslow every month for 6 months

 Sundays: Afternoon Tea with Palm Court Live Music, Benslow Gardens

    1. Details are still being finalised!
    2. Dates are Sunday 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd August
    3. Likely to be 2 sittings, 3pm and 4.45pm
    4. Price tbc, booked in advance

Thursdays: Early evening concert series, Benslow Gardens

    1. 30-8.30pm, with an interval. Gardens open at 6pm
    2. Dates are Thursday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th August
    3. Audience bring garden chairs, rugs etc. Chilled prosecco and orange juice served ‘to your rug / garden chair’
    4. Ticket price tbc, booked in advance
    5. Concerts will showcase the best professional performers