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Lower Your Blood Pressure

Sober October.  31 days of no drinking coming up for all of us who want to get into the Christmas spirit with a health(ier) conscience.  No more popping to the pub after work, nipping to the supermarket for a bargain bucket vintage vino or celebrating the football results (as if) with a night on the town.  No, no, no, October is all about nettle tea, juice bars, meditation, early nights and loads more time on our hands – time to think, reflect and take up a new hobby, perhaps?   Knitting, crafts, diving, running (if lycra is your thing), or how about getting into classical?  Come on, why not give it a try?

If this art form does what it says on the tin, i.e. promises to lower your blood pressure, boost your mood and enhance your concentration, then it would make sense to check out the plethora of concerts on offer this month.  There’s a lovely lunchtime series at St Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich, every Tuesday at 1.10pm and admission is free. Yippee! If you need to fill an otherwise ‘roast and red wine’ Sunday afternoon with something cultural, then St Andrew’s Church in Rushmere have an excellent afternoon concert series all month at 3pm with the £6 entrance fee including delicious homemade refreshments. Yummy!

Then there’s the William Alwyn Festival with morning, afternoon and evening concerts at both Snape Maltings and Blythburgh Church (don’t miss Tasmin Little at 2.30pm on 11th).  The Ipswich School Festival of Music returns for an eclectic mix of top artists: London Mozart Players on 12th, The National Youth Choir Fellowship Octet on 13th and Nicholas McCarthy on 15th (champion of the left hand alone repertoire and a great entertainer).

The Nash Ensemble are gracing us with their magnificent musicianship on 21st with a glorious programme of Beethoven Septet Op. 20 and Schubert Octet Op. 166 as part of the Ipswich Chamber Music Series.  And the lady with the effortless touch who makes the piano sing, Mitsuko Uchida, is appearing at Snape Maltings on Sunday 22nd at 5pm to thrill us with some Schubert piano sonatas.  Definitely not to be missed.

And if banning the booze doesn’t make you feel virtuous enough, why not do your bit for charity and support the Bury Bach Choir on 21st who are performing the Fauré Requiem at The Apex in aid of the Samaritans.  Cheers!