Whittington is marking the week of the royal wedding with six concerts of British music. With a festival programme originally inspired by the centenary of the 1918 Armistice, the vast range of music by fifteen different UK composers makes an apt contribution to the general celebrations.

But like the wedding itself, there is a significant international flavour to the week-long event. The fifteen world-class musicians come from six different countries to perform the six concerts running daily starting from today, Tuesday to Sunday.

The programme stars tonight from 6.30pm, at St John the Baptist Church in Whittington, with the concert beginning at 7.30pm.

“Fantasia on a British theme” has attracted artists from Belgium, France, Russia, Poland, Spain and the UK, several of them principals of leading orchestras, and all of them respected soloists. Some of them have taken part in the five previous Whittington Music Festivals, and look forward to returning to an area and an audience they specially enjoy. Others, like virtuoso Belgian violinist Liesbeth Baelus, are coming to Whittington for the first time.

“To mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice, we have music by the likes of Elgar and Vaughan Williams”, says Artistic Director James Barralet. “But then there’s the suffragette centenary too, so we have three women composers including suffragette Ethel Smyth herself; not to mention the centenary of the RAF, whose famous March was composed by local lad Walford Davies, so he’s there too.” And the royal wedding? “The evening before the wedding, we have young local musicians playing that grand Purcell theme from ‘A Young Person’s Guide’, and then there’s a whole half-hour of Scottish folk music!”

Whittington Music Festival’s six concerts are free to anyone aged 8-25 who rings 01691 657986. Tickets are £15 and are available from Rowanthorn in Oswestry or direct from the festival website www.whittingtonmusicfestival.org.uk, where there are full details of the programme.