Local talent to the fore for Peebles Arts Festival

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Music is set to play a much bigger role in this year’s Peebles Arts Festival, which takes place from August 23 to September 1.

This year’s music programme is the biggest ever and covers everything from folk on Friday, choir music on Saturday, blues, glam rock, country, lute and piano music during the week and finishing up with some jazz on Sunday.

Renowned Peebles choir InChorus will launch the programme on Saturday, August 24, with a concert at the Old Parish Church.

Formed in 2008, InChorus has performed in Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre and the Usher Hall alongside the likes of Dougie McLean, as well as New York during the 9/11 10th anniversary events.

There will be a rare opportunity to catch local boy made good, James Akers, and internationally acclaimed pianist Christina Lawrie, both performing at the Eastgate Theatre.

Other musical highlights include local blues band The Jensen Interceptors and Madge Wildfire, the combined vocal talents of Patsy Seddon, Gerda Stevenson and Kathy Stewart.

The music programme will also include the Courthouse Restaurant outdoor music stage for the first time. Acts to perform there include the talented local singer-songwriter Georgia Gordon, described as a star in the making.

Thanks to support from the Tontine Hotel and the Courthouse, all performances on its stage will be free of charge.

Local musicians will also be involved in the Festival Tea Party in aid of the Alec Lucas Memorial Trust at Leckie Church on Saturday, August 31.

“We’ve worked on ensuring that we have music to suit all ages and tastes at this year’s festival,” said Douglas Roberts, Peebles Arts Festival chairman.

“We’re showcasing the incredible musical talent that we have here in the Borders and thanks to the generosity of our sponsors some of it can be enjoyed for free.”

Pick up a programme from the Eastgate or visit www.peeblesartsfestival.org/music for more information on the various gigs.