FOLK STARS THE UNTHANKS ON A SYMPHONIC JOURNEY
FOR ST GEORGE’S
STARS of folk The Unthanks join forces with classical musicians on June 17 to support St George’s Bristol ‘Building a Sound Future’ appeal.
The Unthanks play ‘A Symphonic Journey’, alongside visionary conductor Charles Hazlewood and his chamber orchestra Army of Generals.
The group, made up of sisters Rachel and Becky Unthanks and Adrian McNally, recently won BBC 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Album of the Year’ and were nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Money is being raised for the independent music venue and registered charity, just off Park Street. St George’s Bristol has a £5.5 million project to build an extension with multi-purpose performance, education and venue hire spaces, a café bar and improved access.
The project also includes essential repairs to the building’s stonework, education activities, and re-telling long-forgotten stories of the Grade II* listed former church’s past. There will be an interpretation space within the crypt, as well as the gardens and the new extension.
St George’s has already raised more £4.5 million, which includes grants from Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, charitable trusts, corporates and individual donors.
Fundraising on the night comes through ticket sales, as well as text-giving. Money-can’t-buy prizes include meeting The Unthanks and Charles Hazlewood at a VIP post-show event.
Members of St George’s audience are due to be recorded on the night for potential future release. It follows the folk group’s debut orchestral performance with Charles Hazlewood and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in March.
Charles Hazlewood last performed at St George’s as part of ‘The Fringe’ – supported by BBC Radio 6 Music Festival – with his All-Star Collective and pop icon Jarvis Cocker.
Admirers of The Unthanks can look forward to an orchestral exploration of the group’s best-loved, as well as newly-commissioned material. The folk group recently added the June Bristol date to its UK tour.
Musical director, composer and pianist for The Unthanks, Adrian McNally, said: “This is a late announcement based on a request by the beautiful and precious St George’s Bristol to help with their fundraising.”
He added: “It’s also a second chance for us to record our orchestral adventure, so cheer loudly and you might hear yourself! Tickets are going quickly because it’s a small, intimate space.
“We are again conducted by the brilliant Charles Hazlewood, this time with his ensemble Army of Generals.”
Conductor Charles Hazlewood commented: “I have known and loved and made music with the glorious Unthanks for years, and the thought of folding them into the sonic whirlpool of my orchestra – especially in the nirvana-like acoustic of St George’s – makes me quite weak at the knees.”
Head of Fundraising and Development Simon Farley, for St George’s Bristol, said: “Our performance venue attracts world-class artists, and we run award-winning education programmes. As an independent venue and registered charity we depend on the generosity of our supporters.
“This concert promises to be exceptional, with timeless story-telling, exquisite singing and beautiful music.
“We are especially delighted that The Unthanks, Charles Hazlewood, and Army of Generals are performing ‘A Symphonic Journey’ to help raise funds for St George’s.”
Celebrity fans of The Unthanks include actors Martin Freeman, Maxine Peake, Colin Firth, and Ewan McGregor, comedians Adrian Edmondson, Al Murray, Dawn French, and musicians Elvis Costello and Robert Wyatt.