THE former lead singer of Manfred Mann is amongst the line-up for this year’s Winchfield Festival.

Mike D’Abo, who also wrote the much-covered song Handbags and Gladrags, will close the one-week festival in June with his latest band, the Mighty Quintet.

Two winners of the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year will also play at the festival, which starts on Saturday, June 14, ends on Saturday, June 21, and will take place either in St Mary’s Church or outside in a marquee.

Festival chairman Ian Gavin-Brown said: “The range of music is even wider than usual and we believe this year’s programme is the best ever.”

Jazz stalwart Digby Fairweather and his band will open the festival, which is held once every two years and is in its 13th year.

Violinist Jennifer Pike, who at the age of 12 became the youngest ever winner of the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year, will play in the church on Monday, June 16.

Her recital will feature the world premiere of a piece written for violin and electronics by her composer father Jeremy Pike.

Cellist Laura van den Heijden, a previous winner of the BBC competition at the age of 15, will play on Friday, June 20, and will be accompanied by pianist Huw Watkins.

Other performances during the week will include Joanna MacGregor, head of piano at the Royal Academy of Music, the London Conchord chamber ensemble and the festival’s first pastoral opera, Handel’s Aris and Galatea.

For tickets, visit winchfieldfestival. org, or call Mr Gavin-Brown on 01252 842487.