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The Wessex Festival 2016
… is an annual music festival that takes place over 4 days in August across the heart of rural Dorset. Concerts, recitals and choral services take place in beautiful and historic churches in picturesque towns and villages.

Choral music is provided by the 3 Festival Choirs (details how to sing with the Festival can be found on the Choirs page), with Wessex Chamber Orchestra – the Festival’s professional ensemble – playing in Saturday’s concert. Talented local young musicians are given the opportunity to perform in our Young Artists Recitals. Professional soloists and ensembles appear at the Festival.

Although we offer a full programme of events, there is still time to explore the delights of this lovely county – with the beaches of Bournemouth and Swanage, the remains of Corfe Castle (built by William the Conqueror), stunning coastal walks and cream teas all within easy reach.

The Wessex Festival 2016
Next year’s Festival will run from 11-14 August. We open with a fantastic programme of French music for choir and organ in the ancient and historic Wimborne Minster, where we return for our third evening concert, which includes Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Horn Concerto (the famous one!).

Merley House is a splendid Georgian Manor House. It is the perfect setting for our second evening concert – an Opera Gala with professional opera singers from London. The grounds will be open before the concert for those who wish to bring a Festival Picnic!

In addition, we have 2 recitals by talented young musicians, a fascinating guided tour of Wimborne Minster which is followed by a Lecture Recital exploring the music in the Minster’s Chained Library, and 3 choral church services.

More details can be found on the Events page.