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St. Mary in tthe Castle

St Mary in the Castle

St Mary showcases ‘Dancing on the Edge’ heir

Manager Zoe Ashdown has taken over the keys for St Mary-in-the-Castle (SMIC) and is taking on bookings for our soon to be bustling arts centre in one of the country’s prime examples of neo-classical (Georgian) architecture. Despite the fact that some works have still to take place, the first event will be a fascinating and nostalgic chance to ‘Swing into Spring’ and takes place as early as this coming Sunday 17 March, writes HOT’s Chris Cormack.

A company limited by guarantee has been set up with the Trustee Designates acting as Members of the Board to be responsible for SMIC’s during a tenancy of will obtained from the Council.  This company provides a bridge to cover the period until the Charitable Trust is formally established after approval by the Charities Commission.

The cafe will be temporarily located in the Crypt Space while the Council and English Heritage complete the lantern light work at front of house. “It will look really cool with the chairs and tables in the vaults!” says Zoe Ashdown.  The bar in the auditorium is being re-modelled and the Baptistry Bar reinstated as a bar after years in use as storage space.

On Sunday 17 March the Friends put on another Jazz Breakfast called ‘Swing into Spring’ with Chris Hutchinson. Chris was recently featured on a Channel 4 documentary about his father, the legendary cabaret singer “Hutch”, who was the biggest cabaret star in Europe in the inter-war years and a favourite of the then Prince of Wales, later Duke of Windsor.  His father’s life and times are graphically displayed in the fictional tv drama “Dancing on the Edge”. All the while Chris has built up a 30-year career and well earned reputation on the live music scene in the UK and abroad.

With his fascinating blend of song and repartee and countless appearances ranging from big bands to duos, Chris sings easy listening, lounge, hard swing and emotionally charged ballads. In addition to well-known standards, Chris has recently added newly-written numbers to his repertoire. Chris’ latest CD is titled “Easy Going Me” and contains the “top ten” from his live gigs, plus three new songs: Easy Going Me, What Goes Around Comes Around, and Along Came You (”the May Day song”). Chris has also revived Madonna Mine, a song once performed by Al Bowlly in an exciting new arrangement which features violinist Chris Haigh.

Swing into Spring is at 11am and features Chris Hutchinson, John Harriman, Erica Wilson, Pete Billings and Pete Burden. Tickets are £8 (£7 for SMICF members) from Hastings Information Centre and Second Spin in Bexhill.

On Saturday 23 March, local acclaimed singer/songwriter Otti Albietz celebrates the launch of his new album with a concert of his unique toe tapping acoustic sounds. Albietz’s toured Europe for his first album “ONE” released early in 2011. His new album “BUBBYTONE II” is released on March 25th on the London/Hastings independent label BBE, and was produced by Harvey Summers.

Described by Indieed Reviews as an “acoustic sensation”, this is a rare chance to see the singer perform both old and new material in this beautiful venue before he hits the road on a UK tour later this spring. He’ll be joined on the night by a collective of musicians, and supported by other local performers to provide what promises to be a wonderful evening of acoustic music.  Tickets £7 online.

On 6 April World renowned trumpet soloist Crispian Steel-Perkins is joined by distinguished keyboard player Leslie Pearson for an evening concert in memory of Mark Tancock and in aid of St Michael’s Hospice. From Handel’s Sinfonia, through the swing of Glen Miller, to the Hollywood hits of Burt Bacharach, the evening will provide something for everyone. Crispian is one of the world’s best known trumpet soloists. He played the theme tune to The Antiques Roadshow, and has also recorded pieces for Dr Who and movies including James Bond’s For Your Eyes Only, Jaws, Batman and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

On 13 April Hastings’ favourite Liane Carroll launches her new album Ballads

with an incredible 40-strong orchestra and a strings section consisting solely of local music students. Ballads is an eclectic mixture of material comprising 11 songs, from Great American Songbook to a Todd Rundgren cover and it also includes an original song written for Liane. The album is very personal to Hastonian Carroll, who is very involved in her local community. Carroll has reflected this not only by recording and producing it in Hastings but also by involving local music students and using the artwork of critically acclaimed local artist, Lester Magoogan, for the album cover. 

Advance tickets 07973-416856 or email:

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Posted 09:38 Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 In: Music & Sound

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