A festive end for this year’s BabyGigs series

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A series of classical music concerts aimed at babies and small children is bringing its first year of events to a festive conclusion next week.

The BabyGigs series is the brainchild of pianist Eleanor Hodgkinson, of Market Harborough.

Her first year has been a success and it is ending 2014 with a festive hurrah from saxophonist John Barker on Monday morning.

Mr Barker is the assistant head of music at Leicester Grammar School, in Great Glen in the district.

The show will feature sax classics and Christmas tunes.

The concert is at Market Harborough Congregational Church’s Jubilee Hall, in Bowden Lane, at 10.30am.

The series has featured music from the likes of international clarinet soloist Sarah Watts, bass trombonist Alex Crutchley and violinist Simon Chalk, who has been a conductor with operatic pop vocal group Il Divo.

Designed for babies, young children and their carers, the concerts provide an opportunity to hear classical music performed by talented musicians. Children are free to sing, dance and move while they listen and can meet the musicians and try an instrument afterwards.

Eleanor said: “BabyGigs has steadily grown in popularity throughout the year, now attracting audiences of 60-plus. It has been amazing to see the children’s and adults’ reactions to the music.

“They have experienced everything from bass clarinet improvisations to trombone demonstrations, sax jazz and violin virtuosity, responding with freedom and enthusiasm.

“A particular highlight for me included being invited to play for The Little Explorers Club for autistic children and their families in Harborough.

“I had no idea how popular the concept would be. I am delighted so many children have had such a lovely introduction to the world of music.”

As a result of its success, Eleanor is starting another series in 2015 in Stoneygate, in partnership with Leicester Prep School, alongside the regular Harborough gigs.

Tickets for Monday’s concert cost £4 or £10 for one adult and two children, and are available by telephoning 07971 233 773. More details are available from the website www.babygigs.co.uk.