TOPSHAM, Devon

Topsham is an attractive town on the Exe estuary, Devon, in England's Westcountry. Now part of Exeter, it nevertheless maintains a distinctive identity. Loved by its locals, and savoured by those who visit, Topsham offers river walks; wildlife; a Saturday morning market; many characterful shops, restaurants and inns; and quiet space to sit and watch the sailing boats go by. But while present-day Topsham is undoubtedly picturesque and has a rich historical heritage, it always has been a working town. Despite no longer being one of the great trading ports of Britain, it continues to have a very strong business and commercial life, with traditional maritime trades continuing alongside the modern and computerised. The site aims to support and encourage the current and future community, so that the history which awaits us may be just as interesting and rewarding.

Topsham - looking north from Quay

Topsham Heritage Year: February

The Twentieth Century In Music And Drama



Date: Saturday 5th February
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: St Margaret's Church, Topsham, Exeter
Cost: Admission by programme, £4 at the door.

Description: Topsham Heritage Year 2000 presents a concert of 20th Century Choral Music, given by Devon - based chamber choir, "Counterpoint" Directed by David Acres, with organist, John Bryden

Date: Monday 14th February - Saturday 19th February inclusive
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: Matthews Hall, Topsham, Exeter
Cost: Admission by ticket, £2.50

Description: T.A.D.S (Topsham Amateur Dramatics Society) proudly present "A Musical Journey through the 20th Century" A Journey through the 20th century in music and song linked with a script of the events and people through the century all performed in costume of the eras. This is a Millenium and Exeter City Council sponsored community event. Tickets are at a special subsidised price of £2.50 and are available from Topsham video shop or by phoning the booking shop on Exeter 01392 422898.


Photo: Exeter Madrigal Group
Date: Tuesday 29th February
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: St Margaret's Church, Topsham, Exeter
Cost: Admission by programme, £3 at the door.

Description: "In The Mood" a concert of classic popular songs from the '20s to the '50s sung by "Cautilena", a 30 strong local chamber choir directed by Robert Gittings, and the "Exeter Madrigal Group", a smaller ensemble of 14 singers, directed by Tony Yates. The concert also includes madrigals and 20th century pieces for clarinet & piano, played by Robert and Mary Gittings.

Further concerts are scheduled to take place througout the festival - see the pages for the other months for their details

COUNTERPOINT

Ten years have passed since Counterpoint gave its first concert in Babbacombe, Torquay. With just three events in the first year, and a choir membership of nine voices, we now regularly perform 6/7 times a year. The choir fluctuates from between 16-24 voices, depending upon the requirements of the occasion and the venue. The group has evolved into a tight core of 18 voices who regularly sing together, thereby creating a distinctive and sympathetic sound that is instantly recognisable. Over the years singers have left the area to persue their careers and the enduring bond formed when singing with the group has remained, culminating in these singers returning to sing with us on many joyous occasions.

During these past years we have sung with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, given concerts in Exeter Cathedral, Buckfast Abbey, churches, stately homes, and concert halls. We have sung services in cathedrals, abbeys and churches, given concerts with our own orchestra, taken part in Sainsbury's Choir of the Year, performed to over 1200 people at a Christmas concert in Torquay and visited France every year to give a series of concerts during the Autumn. We have also released 3 cassettes and one CD.

The group has not felt shackled to any specific style of composition, and it is not unusual for us to sing music covering eight centuries at one concert. From plainsong in the middle 1200's to works specifically written for us we have striven to provide a vivid and intriguing catalogue of music at our concerts. We have endeavoured to champion several composers seldom heard on the Devon concert circuit, striving to gain them the recognition they so richly deserve. Gombert, Padilla and Ugolini from the early and late 16th century, through to Tavener, Part, Grier, Gorecki and Swayne from the late 20th century - we have been on an exhilarating and thrilling exploration of the very best in a cappella composition

The most rewarding part of this adventure lies in the constant discovery of new vibrant music. In some cases it has lain dormant for centuries, waiting in stark silence to be discovered, and performed again in all its glory. In other cases, it is the discovery of a modern composer, whose inspiration can lend a radiant tranquillity to our busy and turbulent lives.

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