Young Musicians

Over the blistering summer holidays young musicians Jess Hughes (18) and Amelie Donovan (16) have put together a really beautiful programme of flute and harp pieces which they will be performing at our FREE Festival concert on Sunday at 11.00am in St Mary’s Church. PLEASE come with your families to support these talented young artists. One of the aims of Stogumber Festival is to promote and encourage the next generation of musicians and to provide a platform for them to get performance practise. Jess Hughes performed for us in 2016 while still a pupil at Wells Cathedral School and now we have caught her as she is about to embark on her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.  Amelie who is based in Exeter, is a weekend pupil at the Centre for Young Musicians, Taunton- a division of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she is learning piano and bass guitar, having already attained grade 8 with distinction on the flute!



Jess (who played at the 2016 Stogumber Festival) has been studying the harp with Ruth Faber since the age of 10. She has just finished her final year as a Specialist Musician Scholar at Wells Cathedral School, and will continue her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in September, under Eira Lynn Jones.

As both a soloist and orchestral player, Jess has performed in many venues including Wells Cathedral, Glastonbury Abbey and Cedars Hall - the new WCS concert hall. Three particular highlights from this last academic year include a Christmas concert with the Bath Bach Choir, a 30-minute solo recital for the Friends of Music at WCS and a performance of Holst's The Planets with the school symphony orchestra.

Jess has also competed for several years at the Mid-Somerset, Taunton and Bristol music festivals. In March this year, she won the ‘Recital for Advanced Solo Harp’ class at Mid-Somerset Festival and the ‘Advanced Solo Harp’ class at Bristol Eisteddfod.  In the summer of 2016, Jess was invited to play with the National Youth Orchestra during two orchestral residencies under the guidance of Eleanor Hudson and Cathy White. This year she went on tour to the south of France with the West of England Youth Orchestra, playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Ravel’s Bolero and a tribute to The Ratpack.

Also learning the piano from an early age, Jess continued to have lessons at WCS and recently passed her Grade 8 exams in both instruments with Distinction.

Jess is very grateful for the support of the Royal Philharmonic Society, as she furthers her study of the harp, at conservatoire level, and continues to share the repertoire of this beautiful instrument.


Amelie is 16 years old and she is studying flute with Susie Hodder-Williams.  Based in Exeter, Amelie has been playing flute for 5 1/2 years and has already achieved her grade 8 examination with distinction.  Besides playing flute, Amelie also plays piano and bass guitar, which she is learning at Centre for Young Musicians Taunton (CYMT) - a division of the Guildhall School.

Recently Amelie has composed and recorded music with friends from CYMT at Actiontrack Studios in Taunton for an album which was launched in July.  Amelie also attends South West Music School, works with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on their "Rusty Musicians" days, and plays with the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Scotland at their summer school each year.

Amelie likes a wide variety of music including classical, folk and rock, as well as unusual pieces such as Ian Clarke’s Great Train Race.  In an orchestra, one of her favourite suites to play is Holst’s Planets or something more modern such as Frank Ticheli’s Blue Shades.  She is a very keen dancer of ballet and contemporary dance and wants to continue developing her music, music and dance, and to combine them by composing music and creating music performances and videos with dance that she has choreographed.

Programme-  as at 30/8/18 TBC

Duet: Claude Debussy - Rêverie

Harp: Concerto in B flat major: Andante Allegro - G.F.Handel

Flute & piano: Handel - Sonata No. 4

Harp: Prière - Alphonse Hasselmans

Flute & piano: Philippe Gaubert - Nocturne and Allegro Scherzando

Piano: Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum - Claude Debussy

Flute & piano: Edward Elgar - Salut d'Amour

Flute & piano: Bohuslav Martinu - Scherzo (Divertimento)

Duet: Gabriel Fauré - Berceuse

Flute & piano: Gabriel Fauré - Morceau de Concours

Harp: Arabesque no.1 - Claude Debussy

Flute & piano: Benjamin Godard - Suite de Trois Morceaux Allegretto

Harp: Viejo Zortzico - Jésus Guridi

Loading... Updating page...