Concert: Jonathan Wortley

Jonathan Wortley Piano

Sunday 24 th March 2019, 2.30pm
Jonathan Wortley – piano
24 Preludes from Bach to Gershwin

An hour’s worth of attractive piano music will be intercepted with some fascinating
commentary and be performed without an interval.
Tickets £10 ( cash or cheque) from or on the door.
‘At least 17 composers have written sets of 24 or 25 preludes, usually in all the different
keys.  This programme was inspired by a CD issued a couple of years ago by the
pianist Dominic John, with 24 preludes in all the keys, each by a different composer (in fact
25 preludes because he started and finished with ones in C major.)  I thought this was a
great idea for a recital, and I decided to draw only on music I already had, which in some
cases I had never performed or even looked at.  I have covered all the keys, but only
managed 19 different composers, but there is still a huge variety, and some composers I
hope some of you will never have heard of!’

Jonathan Wortley was born in West Runton, and attended Gresham’s School, where he
met his wife Sally, a ‘cellist, on a music course held there one vacation.  He read Natural
Sciences then Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where aged 20 he performed Prokofiev’s 1 st
Piano Concerto in a May Week concert. He attended the College of Law in London, but
spent most of his time playing the piano and accompanying students at The Guildhall, where
he had lessons with the late Geraldine Peppin. He subsequently had a number of lessons
with Hamish Milne.

Jonathan has practised as a solicitor in Norfolk for almost 40 years, but music continues to
be an integral part of his life, both as performer, treasurer of the Norwich-based chamber
orchestra the Academy of St Thomas, and as trustee of a number of musical charities.  He
performs concerti, solo recitals and chamber music, as well as accompanying.  He has
worked with a number of professional musicians including the violinists Alan Brind, Jane
Faulkner, Hannah Perowne and Andrew Storey, violists Philip Dukes and Gillianne Haddow,
‘cellists Richard May and Martin Storey, clarinettists Lynsey Marsh and Stephen Waters, and
singers Mary Nicholls, Evelyn Tubb and Catherine Waters.
This recital is being performed in aid of the Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust that
Jonathan has been Chairman of since it was founded in 1998
Grateful thanks to The Assembly House Trust for their generous support of this recital.

By | March 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

STN Trust: An Evening To Bring Freedom


The Assembly House Trust were delighted to support The St.Thomas Trust and their event ‘An Evening To Bring Freedom’.

Social Action Development Worker Annabeth Taylor reports on the evening:

“With the generous support of The Assembly House Trust, STN Trust was delighted to host ‘An Evening to Bring Freedom’ at The Assembly House on 9th February 2019. 

STN Trust is an agent of change, working to bring freedom to those who are enslaved by their circumstances. We journey with individuals carrying the burdens of slavery, addiction, debt, poverty, violence, crime, an absence of or under-education, supporting them to transform their lives. We also work to raise awareness of modern slavery, both here in Norfolk and beyond, and this was the focus of ‘An Evening to Bring Freedom’.


‘An Evening to Bring Freedom’ gave us the opportunity to share with our guests our response to the pressing issue of modern slavery, as well as giving a taster of our work in the form of a spoken word film ‘The Face of Freedom’, produced for one of our awareness raising initiatives.


The evening also included a performance of the song ‘Rise Up’ by Megan Rawling and a prize draw with two pieces of art painted and given specifically for the event and inspired by our work combatting modern slavery, as well as a framed print of a photograph taken on our most recent trip to Kolkata, India during the pilot of ‘Sajil’s Story’, a project raising awareness of modern slavery.


It was a privilege to be able to host our event at such a beautiful venue, and the staff were incredibly helpful, welcoming and professional.”

By | February 21st, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Supporting Students in Norwich with NUA SU


The Assembly House Trust is committed to supporting the arts to benefit the city of Norwich.

As part of this remit we have been working alongside Norwich University of the Arts Student Union to help support the welfare of students during their course.

“We recently contacted the Trust to ask for support to host our weekly student yoga sessions as our normal hall was unavailable for a few weeks. As a not-for-profit organisation, we were unable to fund an alternative venue ourselves meaning that we would have to cancel the sessions; doing so would affect our students’ welfare during a difficult time of year. As well as this, we needed a space that was big enough to fit a large groups of students, be comfortable enough to practice yoga and close enough to campus for students to walk to. This was difficult to find at short notice in the city centre but the Trust confirmed use of their Charitable Ballroom which we were very grateful for.

The sessions enabled our students to continue to develop their mindfulness and wellbeing during difficult periods of the term including final year hand-in. Without the support of the Trust our students would not have had access to their usual support resulting in increased stress and anxiety. The feedback from our students has been very positive; they enjoyed the facilities provided by the Trust as well as the opportunity to practice yoga in different surroundings to usual.

Thank you!”

Hannah Linsdell & Hayley Carey

NUA Students Union

By | February 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Far From The Home I Love


Far From The Home I Love


A Special Concert by

Margaret Fingerhut



Sunday 17th March, 3pm

The Assembly House


Acclaimed international pianist Margaret Fingerhut has devised a very special concert that she is performing across the UK to raise awareness of refugee needs as well as to collect funds for City of Sanctuary refugee groups.


Tickets: £15

Available through the Theatre Royal Booking Office

Phone: 01603 630000


For more information please visit

By | January 11th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Heritage Open Days 2018: Extraordinary Women

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Norwich High School for Girls Extraordinary Women Project.

Pop-up exhibition and community call out.

The Assembly House Trust have been working in collaboration with The Freelance Creative for a new research project, culminating in an exhibition and drop-in event at Heritage Open Days.

Norwich High School for Girls was founded in 1875 by the Girls Public Day School Trust and was the first one of their schools outside London.

It was a fee-paying independent school created to provide good, affordable education for girls.

Although most the pupils lived with their families within walking distance of the school, some boarded with local families and relatives. Prior to school opening advertisements appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle (13.02 1875 and 20.02.1875) both asking for and offering accommodation for pupils.

When the school first opened, on 22 February 1875 it was situated in Churchman House St Giles and had 61 pupils aged 8+. The headmistress at that time was Ada Benson, she remained head for just 9 months before leaving in November to take up the Headship at school in Oxford High School.

Lucy Bagshot Wills then took over as Headteacher. As the popularity of the school increased the GPDSC purchased some of the Assembly House and the school moved here in 1877. By now the school had over 200 pupils.

In his book Norwich High School 1875-1950 P.R.Bodington said of this move “This change was of the upmost importance, not only because the larger building allowed steady expansion and development, but also because its character and beauty exercised an incalculable influence upon all who taught and studied there”.

In 1877 another important change also took place. The NHSG had always had its own internal exams but now pupils were to be entered for public exams -a move that would mean many would be able to gain entry places at university.

These first exams had to be taken in London and the school would arrange a special trip with the girls, of course, chaperoned.

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To celebrate the exceptional women theme of Heritage open Days 2018 The Assembly House Trust launched a research project with members of the public to discover more about the exceptional women who taught at and attended this remarkable school. A school, it seems from the accounts that fostered lively, intelligent, confident, independent and strong women. unnamed (5)

After a call-out to members of the public, the project unearthed suffragettes, war nurses, academics, missionaries, politicians and artists. Alongside the more famous alumni, like MP Dorothy Jewson, geologist Joyce Lambert and possibly nurse Edith Cavell, researchers found stories of ordinary women in Norwich, who did extraordinary things, concealed by the patriarchal society in which they lived. A society which prevented them from working once they married, suppressed their rights and their voices and passed them on into the obscurity of time.

The work of community researcher Sandi R-Urguhart, Chris Matthews and Anna Duckworth helped present some amazing tales and certainly some extraordinary women.

By | September 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Norwich Print Fair at The Assembly House


Norwich Print Fair

A selection of original prints at The Assembly House

Monday 17th September – Monday 31st December

The Assembly House Trust are teaming up with Norwich Print Fair to display a selection of original prints this winter.

The exhibition will feature one print from each artist taking part in the 2018 Print Fair.

Now celebrating its 23rd year, The Norwich Print Fair has grown to become one of the best loved and largest independent selling shows of its kind in East Anglia.

This September, the Fair once again brings together many of Norfolk and Suffolk’s finest printmakers, displaying a wide variety of hand-made print techniques, all within the unique setting of an historic Norwich church. With a mix of firm favourites and new artists, this year’s show promises to deliver yet another stunning display of original prints.

By | September 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Community: Norwich Flower Club


As one of the older flower groups in the country, Norwich Flower Club was originally founded in 1952 by the late Mrs. Jocelyn Steward.


With support from The Assembly House Trust, the club meets once per month in The Music Room.


Membership is open to all who enjoy flowers and floral arrangements and new members are welcome, regardless of experience. A friendly and relaxed atmosphere is guaranteed, aimed at developing your interest through an annual programme of meetings, demonstrations, workshops and outings.


At the meetings you can watch demonstrations by experts who will create floral displays, give advice on plants and flowers to grow, advice on current trends in floral designs and useful tips relating to our art. Other activities offered are workshops, outings, shows and social events.


By | September 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Young Norfolk Arts Festival

Bharatnatyam Interactive:- Performance Workshop
The Assembly House Trust are proud to have supported a dance workshop as part of Young Norfolk Arts Festival.
Bharatnatyam is a classical dance originating in Southern India. The event was presented Viji Moorthie and students as part of YNAF:
“Thanks a lot with the help for this years YNAF program. The children very much enjoyed taking part and as always it both gives them a opportunity to showcase the art outside of the Indian community. They ranged in ages from 5 to 21 and performing as part of the YNAF certainly impacts their confidence and motivation as I can see in class. The feedback from audience was very positive some had only heard last minute. So more advertising would be a target for next year. They particularly commented on explanations of narrative. It also as opened discussion of working with the Norwich Cathedral School running a workshop.
Recently I found my students are reluctant to speak about their art or share it with friends at school etc in-spite of being passionate they are also a bit embarrassed. I was very surprised and disappointed about this. In a recent meeting with Indian dance teachers from other regions this turned out to be standard across the board. However performing at mainstream venues and being part of a mainstream festival like the YNAF helps place the art in a more ‘acceptable’ in the children’s eyes. This is an intangible benefit of being part of the YNAF that the I have certainly noticed and appreciated.

A key help this year was venue cost not being a limiting factor. We usually self fund and depend on tickets to cover costs however this year we would not have had the initial funds to risk that. The Assembly House’s support enabled this and provided a suitable and beautiful venue which we would consider again. The staff were very helpful too.

Overall it was a very positive and rewarding event.”
By | September 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Community: Great Hall Theatre Company


The Assembly House Trust is a registered charity, which aims to develop creative arts and support the local community.

Throughout the years The Assembly House has played host to a wide range of art exhibitions, live concerts, lectures and other community activities.

The Assembly House Trust offers subsidised use of The Assembly House for local organisations in need of high quality facilities for events, fundraisers or community outreach.

This year The Assembly House Trust are celebrating the various clubs, groups and societies that call The House their home.

Photographer Katherine Mager has been visiting and documenting the wide range of activities that take place at The Assembly House, made possible by the support of The Assembly House Trust.

Great Hall Theatre Company

Great Hall Theatre Company produces six quality shows a year in the Arena style. The resident Theatre company at the Assembly House, their shows are performed in the stunning Noverre Ballroom.


“The Great Hall Theatre Company started life as a private theatre club, founded in 1961 by Donald Pyle. The name originates from his own home, the medieval Great Hall in Oak Street Norwich. The ‘club’ first performed in the roundusing members from the Conesford Players.”


“As the Company’s reputation spread the high standard of their productions drew audiences from a wider public, necessitating greater seating capacity.  In 1964 we set up in the Bakers Arms in Heigham Street, originally as a temporary residence, but it took us until 1974 to find a new home in the Friends Meeting House in Upper Goat Lane. Many people have fond memories of coping with such different venues as The Bakers Arms and the Meeting House.”


“In order to broaden our appeal further, another move was eventually made in 1988 to St Peter’s Hall in Park Lane where The Company enjoyed their own suite of rehearsal rooms.  2005 saw us move to The Assembly House, in the heart of Norwich city centre, to become the resident theatre company, maintaining our tradition of arena performance.”


By | July 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Butterfly Treasure Hunt in support of The Benjamin Foundation

On Thursday 21st June, The Assembly House Trust were proud to support The Butterfly Treasure Hunt in aid of The Benjamin Foundation. An annual summer fundraising event held in Norwich for the first time with a fun trail around the city.

The Butterfly Treasure Hunt saw teams explore the city solving clues along the way in order to locate our charity butterfly logos and find letters in order to solve an anagram.  The clues were sponsored by a wide range of local businesses and organisations including The Assembly House Trust.

Established in 1994, The Benjamin Foundation are a charity which operates in Norfolk and Suffolk, supporting people through the challenges that life may bring them, including homelessness, childcare, bullying and abuse.

“Thanks so much to The Assembly House Trust for supporting our event.” – Jessica Glover

By | July 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments