THE Master of the Queen's Music is to officially launch this year's Calne Music and Arts Festival.

Judith Weir, who used to live in Calne, will open the 10-day festival on Friday, October 1.

The annual event, which begins each year on October 1, has been going since 1975 and is the longest running music festival in Wiltshire.

Performances range from jazz, folk, classical recitals, choirs, opera, drama and poetry.

There is an open art exhibition with more than 200 paintings in Marden House, in New Road, Calne.

On Saturday, October 2 there is a Family Day from 10am to 4pm which is free to all and featuring an event at the Pocket Park.

It will include art workshops for children, a large immersive dome, Japanese drummers and other fun activities for both adults and youngsters.

On both Saturdays there is a gala concert: The Shelburne Ensemble at Marden House from 7.30pm on October 2, and then the Mikado performed by Oxford Opera Group at Marden House on Saturday, October 9 from 7.30pm.

Other highlights include a floral art demonstration by the Calne & District Flower Club at Marden House on Monday, October 4, from 12.15pm.

Lorna Davies will give a cello recital at Marden House on Tuesday, October 5 at 12.15pm.

The festival's main sponsor is Chilvester Financial and every year they offer a £300 bursary to a local music or art student.

This year, the bursary goes to Talia Spencer, from Kingsbury Green Academy, who is a Year 13 photography student who plans to spend it on a new digital SLR camera.

For the full programme go to