ALCESTER is on song to lend sound support to nearby village Wootton Wawen, where its 1,500 residents have to find £130,000 to save their crumbling ancient church.

One of the star turns of a week-long fundraising music festival the village is staging from June 12-20 is the celebrated Alcester Male Voice Choir. Its 70 voices will be joined by young soloists, including talented Claire Madden from Wootton's neighbouring community of Preston Bagot. Choir members will take to the platform in the church - the 1,000 year old St Peter's - at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 16.

Proceeds from the choir's performance and the programme of other choirs, bands and instrumentalists, will contribute to the costs of restoring the Saxon church's flaking external stonework.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage have already promised £48,000 to help preserve what is Warwickshire's oldest church.

On the festival's first Saturday, the evening concert is by the Major Brass Quintet augmented by Bourton Trombones Choir. On Sunday, June 13 there is a recital at 3.30 pm by Solihull organist Peter Irving.

Next evening features an appearance by Hook Norton Brass Band, followed on Tuesday, June 15 by The Georgian Village Choir and Band's enactment of village life in the 18th century.

June 17 brings Russian pianist Varvara Valentinovna to the village and Friday is the turn of the Amici choral group from Coventry Cathedral.

The international duo James Barralet (cello) and Alasdair Beatson (piano) appear together on Saturday night, June 19, and the nine concerts conclude with a Sunday evening performance by the internationally acclaimed Armonico Consort, whose members regard St Peter's acoustics so highly they have used it to record CDs.

Tickets at £10 for all concerts are available via John Lawton on 01564 793585. As part of other fundraising, Wootton Grange, which has featured in the National Gardens Scheme, is opening to visitors on Tuesday, June 15, and on June 27 the village is hosting The Big Bring-Your-Own Picnic, laying on a pig roast and cream teas to welcome families from surrounding areas.