80th Anniversary of D-Day & 75th Anniversary of the Royal Engineers Freedom of the City Concert

Introducing our concert performers

Mark Sidwell

Born in 1972 Mark started playing the trumpet at the age of 8, moving quickly over to the cornet. After studying conducting with Major Peter Parkes, Mark accepted an invitation at the age of 20, to become the resident conductor of the Northeast based Championship section band, Northumbria Police.

Mark has conducted ever since and has continually enjoyed various conducting posts through all of the grading sections.

Today Mark divides his time between freelance performance as a brass player, conducting and teaching brass instrumentalists both privately and in many local schools.

Ripon City Band

The Ripon City Band continues to be successful, competing in the Championship section, under the musical directorship of Mark Sidwell.

The band have had a great year performing at some very prestigious events, charity concerts, marching and other enjoyable local gigs.

The RCB organisation as a whole is seeing a bright and positive future for Brass players. We will secure music, and musical tuition, for Ripon and the surrounding areas, for many years to come. Our Training Band now has 15 regulars with ages ranging from 6 to 80+ and are now in a position to take on small bookings. All ages and abilities are welcome, and we can provide instrument hire if required.

If you would like to know more about the main or training band, then please contact the band secretary Linda Graham via email: riponcitybandbookings@outlook.com or check out our social media pages for Ripon City Band.

Dishforth Military Wives Choir

The Military Wives Choirs is a community of nearly 2000 women in 72 choirs across the UK and internationally; that celebrates a love of singing and the power of shared experiences! 

Our members lives are currently impacted by their military connection, which gives our voice a unique perspective. 

Dishforth Military Wives Choir was formed in February 2012 with the aim of providing a distraction for ladies connected to 9 Army Air Corps, offering friendship, support and understanding while the regiment deployed to Afghanistan. 

Since then, our membership has changed on a regular basis; as the very nature of the military means that ladies regularly move into, or out of the area. 

Knowing that wherever the military send us, there will be a choir with a ready made group of likeminded ladies, singing familiar songs, is a great comfort in what can be a very unsettling time. 

Recording four albums, singing with well known artists or performing for The Royal Family are all once in a lifetime experiences we wouldn’t get without our network of choirs; but singing for our local community is a definite favourite of Dishforth Military Wives Choir. 

Many of our members are connected to the Royal Engineers and have stood proudly on the streets of Ripon to celebrate their safe return and as they march through to receive the Freedom of the City. We are honoured to involved in this important concert. 

We are conducted by the ever patient Ruth Sladden; for this event however, we are very pleased to welcome our guest Musical Director, Daniel Sladden. 

Dan is the MD of the Military Wives Choir based at RAF Leeming and together with our accompanist, Alasdair Jamieson, will lead us through this special event that means so much to those with a military connection. 

For more information on joining the choir or hiring us for events, you can find us on Facebook or you can email us

The Duchy Belles

The Duchy Belles are a close harmony vocal trio who perform all genres of music including swing, pop and musical theatre. With musical direction and arrangements by Helen Leaf, the trio sang for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and have helped to raise thousands of pounds for local and national charities.

The Duchy Belles have accompanied Emmerdale’s Bradley Johnson and performed with comedy legends, Cannon & Ball.

Sally Hall, Amelia Simpson and Kitty Watson love singing together and are delighted to be performing at Ripon Cathedral for the Ripon Community Poppy Project’s Concert of Remembrance.

For more information and bookings, please find us on Facebook or email us

Charlotte Potter

Born in 2000 in North Yorkshire, Charlotte is rapidly gaining the highest acclaim for her performances in the UK and overseas. Charlotte has recently finished her training at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (BMus Hons), and before this attended the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music Sixth Form in Manchester.

In October 2017, Charlotte was honoured to sing at Westminster’s Central Hall, London, for 2000 invited guests and July 2018 saw her singing at the Proms in the Priory, Guisborough, with the London Gala Orchestra. Charlotte has performed solos with a range of vocal ensembles including the Chetham’s Chamber Choir, Chetham’s Vocal Department, Durham Singers, Guisborough Choral Society, Honley MVC, Stockton Synthonia MVC and in June 2019 she was invited, by Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir, to sing with Lesley Garrett.  Further afield, Charlotte has been invited for four summers to perform a number of recitals in Bagni di Lucca. 

In spring 2020 Charlotte appeared in Season 7, episode 3  of ITV’s Endeavour, where she played the role of an Oxford University Music undergraduate. In 2022, Charlotte was part of a SATB small ensemble recording of ‘A Song for the Commonwealth’ that was heard around the UK and Commonwealth as the beacons were lit in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Thursday 2nd June 2022. For the last two years, Charlotte has had the great honour of joining the Band of the Royal Fusiliers at Durham Cathedral as their soloist for the 2022 and 2023 Festival of Remembrance. On the 21st October 2023, Charlotte was the principal soloist at a Proms concert at the O2 City Hall, Newcastle. The 17th November 2023 saw Charlotte performing at Mansion house, London for The Worshipful Company of Coopers and the Lord Mayor of London, and on the 25th November she was the guest soloist with the Teesside Symphony Orchestra.