The Clapham Festival of Music and the Arts
the team
The Clapham Festival of Music & the Arts (Cla'am Fest) was created to organise annually in Clapham, a festival for music and the arts, promoting education and fostering community spirit and service in Lambeth.
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| welcome > The Cla'am fest team
The Cla'am fest team  

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett LRAM ARCM MFA, Founder and Artistic Director

Stephen has a reputation as an international soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. He has performed all the masterworks for the clarinet as well as the rare badly-neglected repertoire. His championship of music is particularly keen by presenting prémières of new music and has inspired composers to write for him. His parallel career as an advertising consultant, creative director, fine artist, graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, and communicator augments his knowledge, experience and credibility in the arts world-wide. He is convinced that with imagination and committment in "courting the muse" one is able to bring music and art to other areas than the formality of the concert platform and art gallery. Always striving to relate the beauty of great music to the harmony of life, he is convinced that entertainment and the betterment of humanity can walk music as in other walks of life. "Beauty cannot be defined. Truth cannot be defined. Love cannot be defined. All we can do is inspire and bring the beauty of great music and art to the harmony of life."

Long a believer and champion for the arts being a life-enhancer, he knows from first-hand experience that music makes people better human beings. A festival of music and the arts is one of the best ways of creating community spirit, good citizenship and service. It is for these altruistic reasons as much as for his world class standing as a musician of rare talent and insight that outstanding and sincere humanitarians of the past century have given Stephen Bennett their mentorship and support.

Many years as Artistic Director of several ensembles on 2 continents have inspired and given him the insight to expand his horizons and look to the future of music and the arts in the community. Stephen began actively creating and constructing the festival in 1996. Things began taking shape and heating up when two of his champions and mentors: Yehudi Menuhin and Jack Brymer offered advice and help and suggested becoming patrons thereby getting more involved in the festival. Since then his vision has steadily grown. His founding committment to the Clapham Festival of Music & the Arts is the result of that vision. That vision is summarized thus:

"Community is the key:
To lift the human spirit to be something better than we are.
A sane world and a healthy culture depends on solid humanist values --
Idealism, faith in an absolute, all-pervading nature,
Music's frank expression of emotion and the community of interest
Between artist and public as the context of all artistic activity.
True art enobles the soul, enhances the sensitivity of the mind and
Emotional consciousness, and serves the holistic education
Of human beings' emotional, mental and spritual faculties." Stephen Bennett

As quoted from the Sponsorship & Fundraising document that you can download here.

For further information email:

David HoylandDavid Hoyland, Musical Director

David enjoys varied activities as a musician including composition and performance (harpsichord and organ). He has been conducting his own works since his college days, both in the UK and abroad and recently mainstream choral works (eg. Mozart's opera La Clamenzo di Tito, Requiem and Fauré's Requiem).

He was Musical Director of the "Sacred Music Drama Society" in the 80's and 90's and has prémièred his works at various venues including the "Covent Garden Festival". He conducted the prémière of his own "Rhapsody" for clarinet, with Stephen Bennett as soloist, and is now completing a companion "Rhapsody" for Basset horn to be performed in the Clapham festival. David's new CD, "The Christmas Story" is a Nativity Opera for Soloists, choir and chamber orchestra and features Stephen Bennett as clarinet soloist in the obbligato accompaniment to "Mary's Song". You can download "Mary's Song" here.

For further information email:

Zed RodgersZed Rodgers, Theatre and Dance Director

Zed has been entertaining people of all ages and from many walks of life. For a large part of his life, he has been an inventor; actor; dancer; extra; cabaret artist; compere; playwright; broadcaster and children's entertainer; but not in that order. He has worked for many years with Children and founded “The Oasis Karting Project” in Stockwell, for under privileged children, which is still an ongoing and successful project.

He believes that theatre, ballet, opera and classical music should be made more readily available to the Community. “The Clapham Festival” and its ideals, should help to achieve this long held dream!! As Theatre and Dance Director, it will be his job to promote and stage, as many varied, theatre and dance events, in different venues in our Community, during the time of the festival. It is also part of the job to make these events accessible, to as wide an audience as possible, plus encourage children to participate, and attend many different artistic activities. He would like to bring back a sense of pride to our Community, and to help it work, rest, play and grow together.

For further information email:

We are very sad to report the passing of our close friend and colleague, Christine Aldridge, who had successfully conquered cancer but who sadly was suddenly taken by pneumonia after a very short illness this November, 2012. A memorial concert for her will be given at St. Andrews church, Finchley Road, on 15 December, for anyone wishing to attend. Please contact us for details. Christine will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

Chris AldridgeChris Aldridge, Logistics Director

Chris successfully managed a chamber choir and opera company for some years, and four times over the last few years the company has been asked to present the world premier of newly composed works. Chris has also worked in marketing and PR for several years. She is delighted to have been asked to become involved in the Clapham Festival of Music and the Arts. Her work as a professional fine art photographer are on show in the cla'am gallery and are for sale at the cla'am shop.

For further information email:


The management team

would also like to extend their thanks to special consultant, Susannah Finzi who has given so much of her time to guide us with sponsorship, and Julia Simonne for her insights into the world of dance.

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