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Dates set for next year's Church Stretton arts festival

No sooner has the curtain come down on this year's town arts festival than the dates, and some of the performers, for next year have been announced.

In the craft section at Church Stretton Arts Festival, Sarah Yates admires the kite sculpture, Mild Steel by Timothy Harral. Pic: Lillian Tomlinson
In the craft section at Church Stretton Arts Festival, Sarah Yates admires the kite sculpture, Mild Steel by Timothy Harral. Pic: Lillian Tomlinson

The Church Stretton and South Shropshire Arts festival will take place in 2018 from July 28 to August 12.

Central to the two-week celebration of all things arts is one of the regions largest exhibitions of arts, crafts and photography, held at Church Stretton School, which this year showcased about 600 works of art, original prints and craft, and a comprehensive display of photographs.

The exhibition is an unusual mix of the work of high level professional and veteran artists along with that of amateurs and students from around the south of the county and beyond.

Elsewhere, at various venues in Church Stretton and its surrounding villages, music, workshops and literary events of all types took place, with the festival closing with a celebration of New York's inter-war jazz scene, Swinging at the Cotton Club, held at Concord College in nearby Acton Burnell.

After providing 50 years of music, theatre and visual arts in south Shropshire, organisers of the 2017 festival said they were delighted with the variety and quality of this year’s events.

Alan Stockbridge, publicity manager for the festival, said: "Many thanks to all who supported us during this very successful festival.

"Please put the dates for next year’s festival in your diary now."

Performers earmarked to take part include clarinetist Robert Plane and the Gould Piano Trio; Kosmos, a trio of violin, viola and accordion; the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet; the Pelleas Ensemble; Trombonist Peter Moore, who won BBC Young

Musician at the age of 12; Malaysian pianist Lee-Jae Phang; percussionists O Duo; and viola player Milena Simovic accompanied by Olga Sitkovetsky.

Next year's festival will close with The Complete and Utter History of Jazz show, it has also been announced.

This year's exhibition showcased the work of West Midlands artist and teacher, printmaker Paul Hipkiss, who was set to be one of the star guests but passed away aged 77 just weeks before the festival was due to start.

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