AN exciting and varied programme has been put together for the third annual Priory Music and Art Festival in Christchurch.

Starting on June 9, the eight-day festival begins with William Walton’s oratorio ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ and ends with the party atmosphere of Last Night of the Proms.

Director of Music Simon Earl has attracted a high-calibre range of performers for the event with almost 500 musicians due to perform at the Priory.

During the week audiences will be treated to the beautiful female voices of Papagena, singing music from across six centuries.

Papagena are regular performers at the Edinburgh Festival and recently featured on BBC Radio 3’s International Women’s Day.

A Ceilidh will be performed in the Nave of the Priory, a concert will be given by the Band of HM Royal Marines and a Beer and Hymns Night will be hosted by Tim Daykin from BBC Radio Solent.

Visitors will get the chance to belt out their favourite hymns with beer and drinks provided by local breweries.

The boys, girls and men of the Priory choirs will also feature in a concert along with an orchestra and singers from the Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus.

On the Last Night of the Proms, flags will be waved and voices raised. In the first half of the concert virtuoso Janine Forrester will play Schumann’s A Minor Piano Concerto before the celebrations get going.

Music fans have been warned to expect Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and plenty more national favourites to sing along to, led by the festival orchestra.

The event will include evening concerts and walk-up lunchtime recitals, including the University Big Band and a four hands, four feet organ recital. Go to for more information and to book tickets.