A round up of the best events happening in St Albans and Harpenden this weekend...

Folk at the Maltings

This upcoming concert features Americana trio Alden, Patterson and Dashwood plus Julian Mount and Rose Ford.

The concert will also include sets from singer song writers Julian Mount and New Roots finalist Rose Ford.

Norwich based folk / Americana trio Alden, Patterson and Dashwood is made up of Christina Alden on vocals and guitar, Alex Patterson on violin and mandolin and Noel Dashwood on dobro and vocals. Their music takes influences from folk traditions from both sides of the Atlantic, with uplifting instrumentals and self-penned songs depicting tales of young travellers, sleepy seas and their affection for home. The trio weaves rich vocal harmonies, fiddle, dobro, guitar and mandolin around beautifully written original songs and melodies.

Julian Mount is passionate about folk, roots and acoustic music. He plays acoustic guitar, writes his own songs and plays songs by others too. Julian’s songs are thought provoking, full of wit and highlight his quirky perspective on people, places and situations. In 2017, he won the Watford Folk Club song writing competition.

New Roots 2017 finalist Rose Ford is a British folk singer/songwriter and musician hailing from south east London. Her debut single ‘Wild Disappointment’ was released in 2014 and her debut EP was released in June 2017. The daughter of musicians, Rose Ford began learning instruments at an early age. Her intimate writing style is of the alternative folk pop genre and her lyrics reference mythology, poetry and fiction.

Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans, AL1 3HL, Friday, February 2 at 8.00pm.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Nazanin’s Story

Howell Productions presents the true and unfolding story of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Emi Howell’s play, Nazanin’s Story, at the Maltings Arts Theatre.

On 3rd April 2016, British citizen, Nazanin and her baby daughter, Gabriella, were taken by the Revolutionary Guards in Iran as they were waiting to board a flight home, having been to visit Nazanin’s family for Iranian New Year. Subjected to intense interrogation and kept in solitary confinement for the first two months immediately after her arrest, she was finally accused of plotting to topple the Iranian regime and sentenced to five-years in prison. Yet the charges that led her there remain a secret.

Long listed for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award 2017, Nazanin’s Story uses her own words, and in collaboration with her husband, asks questions of both the British and Iranian government, exploring the darker reasons behind her imprisonment, whilst highlighting a family’s grief at being torn apart.

Writer Emi Howell said: “Our aim from the beginning was to share Nazanin’s story and create a connection for the audience. When we have people approach us afterwards and say that they hadn’t heard of her story before the play but after seeing it want to do something, that’s what we hope for. When Nazanin heard about the play she said it had brought her hope that she hadn’t been forgotten. If our play can help bring Nazanin home and maybe shine some light on the goings on in shadowy governments and dictatorships then I feel like we’ve reached our goal.” 

Richard, Nazanin’s husband, added: “Our story is the stuff of nightmares. We are so grateful to the cast and crew of Nazanin’s Story for sharing so sensitively the story of Nazanin’s todays, and for putting on a performance that helps keep her tomorrows alive.”

Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans, AL1 3HL. Saturday 3rd February, 8pm.

Come & Sing The Brahms Requiem

Non-members are invited to join members of the Harpenden Choral Society to Come & Sing the Brahms Requiem in Harpenden. The afternoon will be led by Mark Austin, an experienced choral and operatic conductor, who is also a German linguist. HCS’s own brilliant accompanist Vivien Powles will be on piano. Scores will be provided.

High Street Methodist Church, Harpenden, AL5 2RU. Saturday, February 3.

Choir performs hymns and anthems at charity concert

St Albans Choral Society holds a special charity concert on Sunday 4 February featuring works by famous composers of English music across the centuries from Thomas Tallis to Sir Hubert Parry, who wrote Last night of the Proms favourite Jerusalem.

The event has been organised in aid of the Society’s current charity, the Hospice of St Francis, Berkhamsted. The choir, conducted by George Vass and accompanied by organist Richard Harvey, will sing several pieces by Parry to mark the centenary of the composer’s death in 1918, including the coronation anthem I Was Glad, which was performed at the marriage of William and Kate in 2011, and Jerusalem.

Also on the programme are the sublime motet Ave Verum Corpus and the famous anthem If Ye Love Me, by 16th century composers William Byrd and Thomas Tallis respectively, and Justorum Animae by the 19th century Dublin-born composer Charles Villiers Stanford. There will be hymns in which the audience will be invited to participate, and refreshments will be served afterwards.

Marlborough Road Methodist Church, St Albans, AL1 3XG, 4.30pm. ticketsource.co.uk/st-albans-choral-society or call 0333 666 3366