Music events are coming to Torquay Museum

Angela Lafferty, engagement development officer at Torquay Museum:

As rain showers herald summer’s end, golden notes drift lazily, like leaves caught on the breeze, through the galleries of Torquay Museum, signaling the opening of our newest exhibition: Made to be Played: A Festival of Musical Instruments.

Opening on Saturday (September 24), and running until March 11, 2023, the exhibition will showcase and celebrate music making around the world and through time.

The range of instruments on display shows how music is universal to all cultures but also reflects local traditions, available materials, and its role in different societies.

Most of the items come from two sources: Torquay Museum’s Daubeny Collection and the Exeter-based collection of private collector Ian Summers.

As well as beautiful and unusual instruments, there are examples that are easy to build and play.

The museum will play host to an exciting and engaging program of associated events, for all ages, over the duration of the exhibition.

Join an early evening performance of Indian music on Saturday, October 8, by the very talented Ricky Romain and Lewis Riley, playing sitar and tabla.

“The free improvisation, inspired by traditional melodies, evolves from a slow beginning, and unfolds into complex rhythmic interplay.

The ‘We Need Music’ workshop for toddlers, pre-schoolers and their caregivers will take place next February. Credit: Torquay Museum

“The joyous lyrical subtleties of Ricky Romain’s sitar playing, has delighted and uplifted audiences wherever he has played.”

Lewis; a student of the late Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan of the Delhi Gharana, has worked in schools running workshops in Indian music as well as being influenced by it in his compositions.

Tickets, supported by an Arts Council grant, are just £5 each and can be purchased through the museum website at

Throughout the autumn and winter, the museum will have a free Music and Films program, showing on the big screen.

See the museum website’s what’s on page for a complete list of the film showings that will be on nearly every Saturday throughout the exhibition.

What could be better than an afternoon or evening tucked away from the wintery weather with a free feel-good movie and some popcorn?

Film snack packs are available for purchase in the café or museum shop.

The free film program requires a valid museum ticket, which gives you unlimited entry to the museum for a year – and there is 20 percent off admission tickets for anyone with a TQ postcode.

October half-term will see the museum’s child-friendly, free Music and Films week during the day, finishing with the more grown-up The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the evening of Saturday, October 29.

Simon Belshaw’s Instrument Making workshop, on Thursday, October 27, is suitable for people aged 15 plus.

This innovative workshop produces instruments that require no musical knowledge nor ability to perform on them.

The making section of the workshop will end with a period of listening, adapting and tuning the instruments.

This workshop is accessible to complete beginners.

There is a £1 booking fee for this free workshop, which is redeemable in the café.

Drum Devon by James Carr.  Credit: Torquay Museum
Drum Devon by James Carr. Credit: Torquay Museum

Drum Devon, run by James Carr, on Saturday, November 12, is open to all abilities from ages eight to 14.

This workshop is a fun way to celebrate diversity and inclusion and share a collective experience in music making – an opportunity to play a range of traditional hand and stick drums and percussion instruments.

By the end of the workshop you will be holding down cross rhythms, joining in with breaks and maybe even feeling inspired to solo!

There is a £1 booking fee for this free workshop, also redeemable in the café.

Our free Music in Films and Made to be Played events program continues up until Christmas, and into the new year. Watch this space for more news. Pengelly’s Café is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays over the winter months.

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