Diary from Proms at St Jude’s: Tickets go on sale for top music and literary festival line-up

Ron Finlay is a trustee of the Proms at St Jude's

Ron Finlay is a trustee of the Proms at St Jude's - Credit: Archant

As tickets go on sale, trustee Ron Finlay brings the latest news on this summer’s Proms at St Jude’s in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The countdown to the annual Proms at St Jude’s has begun. The box office opened on Monday and tickets are on sale our music and literary festival, sponsored by the Ham&High.

Taking place in Hampstead Garden Suburb, from June 22 to 30, it’s our local contribution to the summer season – putting Wimbledon, Henley and Ascot in the shade. Not only can we do strawberries and cream on the lawn, but we also offer a fantastic line-up of concerts, talks and heritage walks.

This year our star performers include Kate Atkinson, who was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and one of the world’s greatest choral ensembles, The Sixteen – known as the “Voices of Classic FM”. We have a great variety of evening classical and jazz concerts and free lunchtime recitals.

The first weekend promises to be particularly exciting. On Saturday, June 22, The Pandemonium drummers from the 2012 Olympics will perform accompanied by a choir of volunteer Games Makers.

The same day four top writers will appear at our LitFest, including Tim Smit, the mastermind behind the Eden Project in Cornwall. In the evening, there’s The Magic of Vienna, a celebration of opera from Austria.

On Sunday, June 23, the proms coincide with the summer picnic organised by the Suburb Residents’ Association. Donkey rides and magicians will entertain young and old in Central Square, with more authors on stage at Henrietta Barnett School, including Hampstead resident, Simon Garfield, talking about his fascination with maps.

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Before this, you can join a Proms Heritage Walk to explore the works of Henrietta Barnett and her husband Samuel in the East End as well as the Suburb.

What I and all the volunteers love about this festival is that it’s all in aid of charity. Last year we donated £50,000 to the North London Hospice and Toynbee Hall.

For more details or to book tickets, www.promsatstjudes.org.uk