The Martin Read Foundation Annual Festival is presenting Come & Sing – Come & Play! at Alton College on April 28.

Last year’s festival was held at the Church of St Lawrence in Alton, and included Martin Read’s cantata The Death of Colonel Boles.

This year’s event is a fun day of singing and/or playing for those aged 14 and above.

Participants can join the festival ensembles to explore accessible new choral and instrumental music.

A scratch choir will explore pieces including Martin Read's catchy folk song On the Steps of the Buttercross and 21st Birthday Greetings by alumna Ella Laughton. Moderate sight-reading ability is required.

Festival performer-in-residence Toril Azzalini-Machecler - a BBC Young Musician finalist - will lead a percussion workshop.

A flexible ensemble will explore tangos by Astor Piazzolla, as well as pieces by alumni: Roots - Carrot Music by Pernille Faye, and a new piece by Felix Sladen-Jewell. All instruments are welcome and moderate sight-reading ability is required.

Dr Pande Shahov will direct the ensembles. Each ensemble will perform at the early evening concert for family and friends.

Headliner Toril Azzalini-Machecler will perform four short compositions for solo percussionist by foundation award-holders, premiered in March at the Royal College of Music in London.

Participants should bring a picnic, but tea and coffee will be provided. A bar with wine and fruit juice will be open during pre-concert picnics.

Participants will join workshops and rehearsals from 11am, with audience members welcome from 4pm for a composer performance masterclass at 4.30pm, picnics and the bar from 5.30pm, and the concert from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Concert audience tickets cost £10 (£5 students). For participation or audience tickets, or to donate to the Martin Read Foundation, visit

​The Martin Read Foundation was established in 2014 to remember Martin Read, who died suddenly in 2012 aged 53.

Toril Azzalini-Machecler.
Toril Azzalini-Machecler is leading a percussion workshop (Martin Read Foundation)

Martin was a published composer and outstanding educator who taught at Eggar’s School and Alton College from 1981 to 2012.

The foundation was established to support young composers and is the platform on which his passions for contemporary music and teaching composition continue.