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NADSA, as it has been affectionately known for almost the whole of its existence, was saddled with the title of Newton Abbot and District Society of Arts by its founding fathers back in 1946. To date there is no record of NADSA’s constitution ever being amended, so it is still living with such lofty aims as:

“The Objects of the Society shall be to promote, maintain, improve and advance the education of the public in the arts and sciences of music, opera, ballet, drama, film, photography, literature, painting, drawing and sculpture by the presentation of performances, exhibitions and other activities.”

In those heady post-war days NADSA did attempt to improve all aspects of the cultural education and experience of the returning heroes and surviving civilians, but very soon it was facing the first of its several financial crises, and cut back on its over ambitious aspirations to concentrate on live chamber music. And this is what it still continues to do today.

Many is the time those who strive voluntarily to keep NADSA alive have wondered how many people in the area have never sampled the wonderful music on offer, frightened off by that stuffy full title Newton Abbot and District Society of Arts has to bear.

Now, recognising that all NADSA’s original aims, except its concerts, are dormant, or catered for by other thriving organisations, Newton Abbot & District Society of Arts continues to exist, with newly named  nadsa concerts as its only active section.

Nadsa concerts strives to bring world class classical musicians to perform in the Newton Abbot area, those who would simply not be heard here without nadsa concerts’ initiative. Some past highlights you may remember - or may have missed, frightened away by the forbidding, and now obsolescent, Newton Abbot & District Society of Arts name – are mentioned below.

Every season features at least one piano recital, and past performers have included Margaret Fingerhut, Angela Hewitt, Peter Katin, Freddy Kempf, Piers Lane, Noriko Ogawa, Ronan O’Hora, Martin Roscoe, Howard Shelley, Kathryn Stott, Thomas Vasary and Oleg Marchev.

Jacqueline Du Pre performed here in her early career. Janet Baker has sung for us. Violinist Nicola Loud, oboist Nicholas Daniel, and cellists Richard May and Richard Harwood - are among those who performed as young musicians early in their careers. Ensembles have included the Haffner and Galliard Wind Quintets, the Allegri, Dant√©, Duke and Fitzwilliam String Quartet. Organists have included John Scott, David Briggs and David Goode. Other singers include Ben Luxon, Patricia Rosario and Evelyn Tubb, also Collegium Regale, the Choral Scholars of King’s College, Cambridge. Actress Jenny Agutter put in an appearance. Then there have been Craig Ogden and Carlos Bonnell as solo guitarists. Among those most memorably entertaining are probably Trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins and harpist Catrin Finch, during her reign as Royal Harpist to the Prince of Wales – though Charles did not come. 

Brochures for the new season may be obtained at Newton Abbot Tourist Centre and libraries throughout the area.

Come and join us. You may have fun!