A gala evening in celebration of the life of Molly Townson

Hastings International Music Festival presents a one-of-a-kind Musical Evening celebrating the life of their former chairman, Molly Townson who died earlier this year.

Molly was an inspiration to several generations of singers and performers, and this is a chance to remember her and her musical life with the special concert at the White Rock on Sunday October 27th from 7pm.

The gala evening will honour every aspect of Molly’s musical life, from her own singing to her subsequent career as a singing teacher, with special focus on her long association with the Hastings Musical Festival and the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Molly receiving her Order of 1066.

Previous festival winners are being welcomed back on the night, many who have gone on to successful careers as performers, including Molly’s daughters, singers Melanie and Emma Stace.

There will also be performances from Miwako Miki and Frank Wibaut, prize winner and former Artistic Director respectively of Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. There will also be contributions from the various performing groups with which she was associated, including Soiree, her touring Edwardian musical entertainment and Cantabile, her choir, with choreography by Pauline Ash of Laton Ash Dance Centre.

The evening will also feature performances and appearances from famous friends in the wider world of music including Shirley Collins, the Hastings-born Queen of English Folk Song and a former festival judge; Ian Kearey of The Oyster Band and The Blue Aeroplanes; celebrated composer, double bassist and former classmate Gavin Bryars who wrote the last songs Molly sang in public and composer Errollyn Wallen, ‘the renaissance woman of contemporary British music’ according to The Observer and former resident and festival competitor.

The celebration will be compèred by Molly’s son, Wesley Stace AKA John Wesley Harding, whose show Cabinet of Wonders is a longtime fixture in New York City, and who recently released an album featuring duets with Bruce Springsteen and Lou Reed.

All proceeds will go to the Molly Townson Bursary Fund, for young people intending to pursue a career in the performing arts.

Ticket prices: £12, £8 for Over 60s, £6 for Under 16s and Students with ID  (including booking fee).

Available from the White Rock Theatre Box Office (whiterocktheatre.org.uk)


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