Event Programme

2023 Programme of Events

Saturday 17 June

Sussex live Music events

Horsham Symphony Orchestra with soloist Toril Azzalini Machecler

Performance starts at 7.00pm

Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield
Tickets: £15
Under 18’s: £5
Doors open: 7.00 pm

A spectacular opening concert featuring BBC Young Musician percussion finalist Toril Azzalini Machecler performing Concerto for Marimba and Strings by Emmanuel Sejourne followed by Berlioz’s brilliant Symphonie Fantastique. Horsham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Steve Dummer is a dynamic amateur orchestra based in Horsham, drawing in talented musicians from the surrounding area and regularly sells out concert halls when performing.

Sunday 18 June

Cuckfield Music Festival

Festival Choral Evensong

Performance starts at 6.00pm

Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield
FREE ENTRY with donation

This special service will feature choral settings of the responses, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and anthems.

Monday 19 June

singing events sussex

Burgess Hill Girls

1.00pm – 2.00pm

Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield
FREE ENTRY with donation

The prep school choir – National Finalists in the Barnardo’s Choir of the Year 2023 – will perform a selection of pieces including items from The Lion King. The senior choir – national Finalists in the GSA Choir of the Year 2023 – will perform songs from Matilda. In addition, highly talented soloists will be playing pieces ranging from Purcell to Copland on piano, cello, flute and recorder.

Tuesday 20 June

caroline taylor musician

Caroline Tyler

1.00pm- 2.00pm

Venue: Holy Trinity Church Cuckfield

FREE ENTRY with donation

An international concert pianist who has performed in venues all over the world, Caroline is a Graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and multi-award-winning pianist. Returning home to Mid-Sussex and to the Festival, her programme will include works by Schubert and Brahms, and original music which Caroline has written.

Pianist and composer Caroline Tyler has performed at venues including the Barbican Hall in London, Enka Auditorium in Istanbul, and the Martinu Hall and British Embassy in Prague. She graduated with a first-class honours degree and a Masters degree with Distinction, both from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Caroline is an artist with Piha International and formerly with the Concordia Foundation. She is the winner of various competitions including the Anglo-Czech Trust Competition, the Christopher Duke Piano Recital and the Norah Sande Award. Caroline enjoys music education as well as performance. As well as teaching her private students, she is on the adjudication panel for the British & International Federation of Festivals, and is an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

During the pandemic Caroline focused more on writing piano music. She creates music for her own musical dedication gift service, Composify, had an original arrangement featured by BBC Music Magazine, and was commissioned a piece which appears in the new ABRSM 2023-2024 syllabus. Further pieces are to be published in 2023 including a new Nocturne for an anthology produced by EVC Music.

Tuesday 20 June

live music events west sussex

Schools’ Concert – A Night at the Movies

Performance starts at 6.00pm

Venue: Warden Park Secondary Academy
Tickets: £8
Under 18’s: £3

Following the success of our first Schools’ Concert in 2022 we are welcoming back students from Oathall Community College and Warden Park Secondary Academy. Joining them this year will be St Paul’s Catholic College in a programme that will delight and amaze, including music from the movies, West End Musicals and other popular songs.

Wednesday 21 June

Free live music sussex

Rebecca Milford, Eleanor Oldfield and Janice Kit-ying Tsui

Rebecca, Eleanor and Janice met in the halls of music college, young and excited to experience performing and exploring music. From there, developed a friendship and shared passion for the stories that songs can tell us. Join them for a lunchtime recital where the trio will share their favourite stories through song, so that you may not only listen to music, but feel it.

Eleanor Oldfield
Eleanor was born and raised in North Norfolk and is a recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, gaining her Masters of Music and Performance with Distinction, under the tutelage of John Evans and Marcus Van den Akker.

Recent performance highlights include; Maria (West Side Story) with Kidderminster choral society and orchestra, Merry Messiah (UK tour) with the Merry Opera Company, Pitti-Sing in the Merry Opera Company’s UK tour of The Mikado, Mistress Quickly (cover) and chorus (Sir John in Love) with British Youth Opera, Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, The roles of Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss), Daughter (The Vanishing Bridegroom, Judith Weir) and Véronique (Dr Miracle, Bizet) in Guildhall Opera scenes. She also performed as a finalist in the Chartered Surveyors Prize 2022.

Eleanor spent the beginning of 2023 traveling throughout New Zealand and Australia, taking a break from her singing. She is thrilled to have returned and be performing at Cuckfield Music Festival alongside Rebecca and Janice.

Rebecca Milford
Soprano Rebecca Milford recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s Artist Master Programme with Distinction under the tutelage of John Evans.

Rebecca is currently on the Wild Arts Young Artists Programme, performing the role of ‘Lauretta’ and covering ‘Gianetta’ in their tour of The Elixir of Love. Recent highlights also include, title role of ‘Cinderella’ in Cinderella’23, written and directed by John Ramster (Merry Opera Company), role debuts as ‘Frasquita’ in Bizet’s Carmen with Opera Brava and ‘Head Hen’ in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen with Hampstead Garden Opera, alongside Cover Roles as ‘Anne Page’ in Vaughn-Williams’ Sir John in Love with British Youth Opera at Opera Holland Park and ‘Vixen’ in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen with Hampstead Garden Opera.

As a recitalist, Rebecca is the recipient of the Anne Wyburd Prize for German Lied, won with pianist Florent Mourier. She has performed in a variety of recital projects and is thrilled to be returning to her home village and their wonderful audiences for the Cuckfield Music Festival!

Janice Kit-ying Tsui
Currently a graduate accompanist at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Janice Kit-ying Tsui gained her Masters in piano accompaniment with distinction and Concert Recital Diploma in 2022 as a recipient of the Guildhall scholarship, under the tutelage of Pamela Lidiard and Gordon Back. She has performed at venues around the UK namely LSO St Luke’s, St James’s Piccadilly, Faversham and Cuckfield.

She has played in recitals directed by Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Eugene Asti and Roderick Williams respectively.

Thursday 22 June

live music cuckfield

Lucy Jeal and Ahmed Dickinson

1.00pm- 2.00pm

Venue: Holy Trinity Church Cuckfield

FREE ENTRY with donation

Lucy Jeal (violin) and Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas will be taking us to far away shores with a programme of passionate and evocative violin/guitar duos from Spain, Cuba and Japan. Lucy enjoys a diverse chamber music and orchestral career in the UK and abroad. She is currently a member of the English Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Reza and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Ahmed is one of the finest performers of the Cuban Classical Guitar School and a critically acclaimed recording artist.

Lucy Jeal
Lucy Jeal enjoys a diverse chamber music and orchestral career in the UK and abroad. She is currently a member of the English Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Reza and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. She is regularly invited to play with other London based orchestras including the LSO, Britten Sinfonia and the English Baroque Soloists.

Highlights of her career include playing piano quartets with Alfred Brendel in a worldwide tour including Carnegie Hall, guest leading the Brodsky string quartet with concerts in Holland, Italy and the UK and playing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in London’s Festival Hall after winning their ‘Young Soloist’ international competition.
She has broadcast recitals on BBC Radio 3 – ‘Young Artists’ Forum’ and ‘Through the Night’ from the Apollonia Festival and played live on ‘In Tune’. She loves introducing classical music to children and has given many Bach to Baby duo and trio concerts around London.

“Lucy Jeal plays in a joyous, singing style. What followed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall was an inspired affair. Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 3 in G K216 was played by her in a manner both authoritative and persuasive.” The Strad

Harrogate International Festival: “Lucy Jeal showed that she had the measure of Lutoslawski’s Violin Partita in both tone and mood. Moreover, her facial expression showed how she lived every note.”
Musical Opinion

“Lucy Jeal is touched by a poetic feeling, an empathy for the spirit of a piece… a charm and grace which were totally disarming.” Newbury News

Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas
Described as “a true pioneer” (Classic FM Magazine), award winning London-based Cuban guitarist, Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas, is one of the finest performers of the Cuban classical guitar school.
A sophisticated virtuoso, the Havana-born Dickinson Cardenas has performed at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Sage Gateshead, Union Chapel, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, LSO St Luke’s and St James’s Piccadilly.

He has given live performances on BBC Radio 3 and BBC London. He has also featured at prominent festivals including London Classical Guitar Festival, Bath International Guitar Festival, Sage Guitar Festival, Kings Place Music Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, Ards Guitar Festival (Northern Ireland), Dublin Guitar Week, Hispano-American Guitar Festival (Mexico), Identidades International Guitar Festival (Cuba) and Havana International Guitar Festival.

Ahmed has established a successful career in the UK, whilst maintaining a performance profile and strong links with Cuba.
He is widely recognised as an ambassador both for the music and musicians of his native country. In 2008, Ahmed founded Cubafilin Records – a record label dedicated to the exclusive promotion of Cuban musicians and their original works. For nearly ten years, Dickinson Cardenas enjoyed the great privilege of collaborating with the prolific late guitarist and composer – Jose Antonio (Ñico) Rojas. Ahmed transcribed Rojas’ extensive unpublished works during this period, and subsequent performances and recordings earned two prizes at the Cubadisco Awards 2009, Best Instrumental Soloist & Best Instrumental Album. The same album was nominated for Best Artist & Best Newcomer in Songlines World Music Magazine, and Best Album & Best Single at the Latin American Music Awards UK.

He has worked with acclaimed soprano Laura Mitchell, flamenco Jazz guitarist Eduardo Niebla, Cuban percussionist Hammadi Rencurrell, violinists Emma Blanco, the Santiago Quartet, and led the Cuban Guitar Orchestra Sonantas Habaneras in Havana for two years.

Ahmed graduated from the Superior Institute of Art (ISA Havana) and was awarded a first-class honours degree on the guitar, completing his qualification a year early. In 2005, he moved to London to study with Carlos Bonell and Chris Stell at the Royal College of Music and was awarded prizes including the Royal College of Music Guitar Competition and the Ivor Mairant Guitar Competition. In 2006, supported by The Kramer-Chappell Scholarship and the Mad Hatters Club, he undertook further studies with Robert Brightmore at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since his arrival in the UK, Dickinson Cardenas has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ashley Stewart Arts Sponsorship 2011, Concordia Foundation 2008-2009 and Ivor Mairants International guitar Competition 2006.

Ahmed Dickinson teaches classical guitar at London College of Music.

“You are left with the sensation of being touched to the core by exquisitely played pieces” SONGLINES

Thursday 22 June

Simon Anckorn and Sarah Rolph

Simon Anckorn
and Sarah Rolph

Performance starts at 7.00pm
Venue: Holy Trinity Church Cuckfield
Tickets: £10
Under 18’s: £5

An impromptu ‘unplugged’ performance during a rehearsal inspired ‘An Evening With’… This collection of songs, which has shaped Sarah and Simon’s lives, inspired by artists including Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Burt Bacharach and many more.

Sarah Rolph
Sarah’s love of music began from an early age due to spending hours leafing through her Fathers’ eclectic record collection and immersing herself in a wide range of music styles.

Her first stand out performance was in a sixth form production of ‘Godspell’ and following that, she began to gain a wealth of experience singing in many different settings such as Choirs, Musical Theatre, and Barbershop Chorus’s, an experience that really taught her how to hone her craft. Soon after, she was signed by a management company, where she sang in many top venues across the South of England.

As raising a family took prominence, Sarah began to focus on her passion to introduce music to children and established ‘Sing – Choirs for Children’. Now in its 10th year and with over 200 primary school children singing together every week, leading children’s Choirs has been Sarah’s complete labour of love. Performing over the years in concerts at The Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Festival Hall and Wembley Arena, have been just some of the highlights – and the Choirs continue to go from strength to strength.
And to keep busy, Sarah has been fronting successful function bands for the past 20 years, playing at some of the most prestigious venues around the UK. She is a keen songwriter and is looking forward to developing original material with her most recent band, ‘Soulville’.

Having collaborated with Simon for a number of years (as well as sharing a stage in ‘Soulville’), it was during a rehearsal for a gig, when they happened upon a rather beautiful grand piano, and there followed an impromptu, ‘unplugged’ performance which was rather special. So special in fact, that they decided to put together a collection of the songs that shaped their journey through music. And ‘An Evening With’…. was born.

Simon Anckorn

Originally starting his musical studies on the Classical Guitar, Simon was performing in recitals and concerts from the age of 14, although his first public performance on the guitar was for a school production of Godspell aged 12. Following musical studies at college Simon was influenced by an inspirational teacher who opened the doors of lighter music including jazz harmonies during the study of conventional classical music and arranging. The rest is history, Simon quickly became inseparable from the piano and buried himself into learning as much about different genres as he could.

Within a short period, the inspirational teacher who had mentored Simon, was a performer himself and handpicked several students to form his backing band, this quickly developed Simon’s ability as an accompanist and he later was invited to work as a session musician for various artists and bands. Whilst being settled in the lighter genres of music, in 1981 he met concert pianist Michael Dolovich, whilst biding his time working in musical retail in London. The two of them very quickly realised that whilst playing keyboards opposite each other, a certain chemistry was created, Michael on grand piano and Simon on electronic keyboards, just at a time when keyboards and synthesizers were ‘coming of age’ enabling plausible ‘faux’ orchestration to be created live. They quickly crafted a repertoire of music which swept across the musical spectrum, their ‘piece de resistance’ being Jimmy Webb’s Macarthur Park, which they subsequently recorded.

The act of ‘Keyboard Sensations Anckorn & Dolovich’ was born and their career in musical retail was eclipsed by life on the road performing throughout the UK at some of the country’s most prestigious venues including The South Bank’s Purcell Room, The London Palladium and St David’s Hall Cardiff. In 1986 they recorded their own BBC Radio 2 show at Maida Vale Studios sitting at 2 Steinway Grands for ‘Around The Piano’.

After nearly seven years of working together, the partnership was amicably drawn to a close by married life for both of them and the need to be at home for the next chapter in their lives. The years since have seen Simon MD numerous musical productions with over 20 years as Musical Director for the St Marys Pantomime in Lewes.

His ensemble playing has included gigs with his jazz trio Si’s Three, with Pete Greatorex on drums and Brighton’s Keith Baxter on bass. Bands which have included The Rhythm Method, The Big Kahuna, The Saucy Flapdragons and more recently the collaboration with Sarah Rolph and Soulville.

This collaboration with Sarah has created yet another ‘lightbulb’ opportunity.

Friday 23 June

michael maine organist

Michael Maine

1.00pm – 2.00pm
Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield
FREE ENTRY – with donation

Many people in the Cuckfield community know Michael well, as he retired last year after seven very happy years as the Vicar and Rural Dean of Cuckfield. Michael is a Cornishman by birth, and as a child was a choral scholar at Truro Cathedral where he also studied the organ with John Winter, the Organist and Master of the Choristers. Moving to Brighton, he became Organist and Director of Music at All Saints’ Hove and Director of Music at St Christopher’s School, Hove, holding both posts for nearly thirty years. During that time, the choirs regularly performed on national radio and television. Instrumental in saving the great organ of the Dome, Brighton he played to a capacity crowd at the instrument’s reinauguaration. He is also known as a theatre organist and was regularly heard on BBC Radio 2’s The Organist Entertains.

Friday 23 June

Greek Serenade Music

Greek Serenade with Pavlos Carvalho and Friends

Performance starts at 7.00pm
Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield
Tickets: £15
Under 18’s: £5

An evening of songs exploring soulful Greek folk music – Rebetiko. Absorbing influences from not only different parts of Greece, but different corners of the world, including the spices of tango and swing, it still remains uniquely Greek. Coloured by the sounds of accordion, bouzouki, guitar, baglama and voice, the evening will be filled with the sound of music to sing and dance to, should the mood take you.

An evening for all the family, join us as we transform the beautiful ambience of Holy Trinity Church Cuckfield, to the atmosphere of an intimate little Greek music joint in Piraeus, through music.

Tonight’s concert is brought to you in collaboration with the Rebetiko Carnival festival and charity. This is a one-month festival dedicated to the music of Asia Minor and Greece happening throughout June 2023. It is happening throughout the UK and consists of concerts, education and outreach work, through the medium of this beautiful music.

Most of the musicians performing this evening are based in the UK. However, we are very happy to welcome into our group, Dimitris Koustas (accordion/voice) who is visiting especially from Greece to perform with us during the festival.

Musicians: Plastikes Karekles

Andria Antoniou, voice, percussion
Pavlos Carvalho, voice/bouzouki
Maria Tsirodimitri, voice/guitar
George Angelopoulos, bouzouki/baglama
Dimitris Koustas, accordion

Plastikes Karekles is one of the foremost bands in the performance and cultivation of Greek music in the UK and abroad. Internationally they have performed at festivals in Greece, France, Italy, Scotland, Wales and Qatar. In the UK they have performed at Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, St David’s Hall as part of the Proms, as well as more intimate venues such as the Green Note, Vortex and the Forge, London. They have also performed at Kings Place, London both as part of the Rebetiko Carnival festival and Equator: Women of the World festival.

The musicians of Plastikes Karekles are also the founding members of the Rebetiko Carnival, a charity and festival with Rebetiko music at its heart and dedicated to performance, outreach and education. They take music to schools, hospitals, prisons and care homes throughout the UK

“Plastikes Karekles represent a culture of reinvention as defiant and hopeful as the music itself.” – Songlines magazine

“These musicians wowed a captivated audience…they had people dancing in the aisles and evoked memories of sunnier climes” – Nottingham Press

“Powerfully emotional, moving and involving”,- Song Lines magazine

Saturday 24 June

Dominic Ferris

Dominic Ferris with Luca Brugnoli

Performance starts at 7.00pm
Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield
Tickets: £17.50
Under 18’s: £5

Dominic is delighted to be returning to Cuckfield Music Festival for a third time, performing his trademark piano arrangements of songs from the British and US songbooks including Billy Joel, Elton John and Gershwin. And for one night only, Dominic will invite the audience to request any song they would like… live during the concert! Dominic will also be welcoming special guest Luca Brugnoli who triumphed as a finalist of BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2022.

Dominic Ferris is one of Britain’s leading pianists and a global ambassador to the flagship piano brand Steinway & Sons. He is currently pianist to Dame Shirley Bassey and has collaborated with some of the world’s leading artists including Barry Manilow and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Dominic regularly produces music projects at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, where his father worked before him on several Beatles albums including Let It Be.

Dominic has performed on and provided orchestrations for several chart-topping albums including the symphonic releases of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, selling over 3 million albums worldwide. Following these releases, Dominic embarked on a USA tour of the Elvis Presley If I Can Dream album, concluding with a special 40th Anniversary performance at Graceland with Priscilla Presley.

Dominic is one half of the internationally acclaimed piano duo The Piano Brothers who have become recognised as one of today’s most adventurous, cutting-edge piano duos. They recently appeared as special guests with the BBC Concert Orchestra on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night and often perform at Steinway & Sons events around the globe. He is also one half of musical theatre double act Ferris & Milnes. The duo has become known for their mashup medleys including “33 Sondheim Numbers in 5 Minutes”, which they premiered at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in Stephen Sondheim’s 85th Birthday Gala.

Dominic attended Hurstpierpoint College before studying piano performance at the Royal College of Music. He regularly visits music and performing arts institutions, presenting masterclasses and offering young people an insight into the music and entertainment industries.

Dominic is delighted to be welcoming special guest Luca Brugnoli who triumphed as a finalist of BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2022. Luca lives in Lindfield and has built a reputation as lead soloist in the critically acclaimed international choir, Libera. Dominic has been producing studio recordings for Luca which will be released this year.

“I rarely get the opportunity to perform in my home county of Sussex. I grew up in Hove but have fond links with Mid-Sussex, initially through being a student of Hurstpierpoint College from 1999 until 2004. Until recently, my childhood musical mentor, Michael Maine, was the vicar of Holy Trinity Cuckfield, so I’m thrilled that the Festival has asked me back to this beautiful church for a third time and I will look forward to seeing some familiar faces”. Dominic Ferris

Luca Brugnoli

Luca Brugnoli is an Independent British Artist.Born in 2010 in Sussex, he commenced his musical journey at a young age with the world renowned Libera Boys Choir under the directorship of the late Robert Prizeman. In 2022 his solo career started in coexistence with the choir. He was awarded the coveted runner up position in BBC Young Chorister and has an album coming out in May 2023.

A dedicated musician he is honing his skills in song writing, guitar and piano, studying under various professional coaches within the industry. Luca performed in our very special “Evening with Katie Derham” in March of this year and won the hearts of the packed house – book early!