Super Sonic Herts music festival being held in Hatfield

University of Hertfordshire holds its music festival Sonic Herts

University of Hertfordshire holds its music festival Sonic Herts - Credit: University of Hertfordshire

An eclectic university music festival opens in Hatfield next week.

Sonic Herts takes place at the University of Hertfordshire from Monday, April 30 to Friday, May 11 and features performances from talented students, staff and special industry guests.

This year’s festival, which is open to the public for free, features everything from the Long Beach Wind Symphony all the way from California State University in the USA, to a performance of traditional Indonesian instruments.

Among the festival’s highlights is a showcase by celebrated singer and violinist Alice Zawadzki.

She will perform songs from her critically acclaimed debut album China Line, as well as new material from her upcoming release Within You Is A World of Spring, in room B01 of the Film, Music and Media Building on May 3.

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Sonic Herts also features a performance from British composer and pianist Dave Smith, who will play a selection of pieces from his series of solo piano concerts.

Encompassing a variety of styles, works in this April 30 programme will include And With Thy Daring Folly Burn The World, three Kerala song arrangements and On the Virtues of Flowers.

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Virtuoso pianist Xenia Pestova will be performing on the Magnetic Resonator Piano (MRP), a new instrument designed by Andrew McPherson.

The MRP differs from the piano, as electromagnets are suspended above the strings, allowing the formation of a new unique sound.

The festival also features a wide range of performances from current students across all levels and programmes, including an open platform event for bands and DJs led by music technology students and compositions from film and games students.

There will be a session led by prominent industry professionals on the subject of women in the audio industry.

Dr Roberto Filoseta, Programme Leader for Msc Music at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “We are proud to showcase such a varied and vibrant programme for our students that we invite the public to come along and enjoy.

“This year’s programme features a fantastic range of performances across many genres, lined up by our dedicated students, staff and special industry guests.

“The events at the festival are the perfect place for student bands to play on stage, and help to support all students involved with gaining excellent real-world experience.

“Over 95 per cent of Creative Arts students are in work or further study six months after graduating and events like Sonic Herts help to prepare our students for what we hope will be long and successful careers within the industry.”

The women in the audio industry session on May 1 will be led by audio engineer Isabel Gracefield Grundy of RAK Studios, record producer, engineer and mixer Steph Marziano, and producer, mixer and engineer Marta Salogni.

The talk will be followed by an informal discussion and a Q&A session.

Also returning to the festival on May 8 will be the Best of JamJar in The Attic at The Forum Hertfordshire, which will showcase the best student-led talent the university has to offer.

All Sonic Herts events are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, and a list of concerts, visit

The concerts will be held at various venues on the university’s College Lane Campus in Hatfield.

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