Festival Report 2007
The 94th Taunton & Somerset Music & Drama Festival, was held during the week 12th – 17th November 2007.
In the Music Classes, pianists Christopher Hedges and Asako Anishi gained prestigious ‘Outstanding’ grades, as did Max Newberry and Mollie Stallard for their accomplished performances on trumpet and bassoon respectively in the Wind and Brass classes. Standards remained high in the String and Music Making classes, presided over by the enthusiastic and committed adjudicator, Kay Tucker: violinists and ’cellists gained distinctions by the score, Acoustic and Electric Guitar classes were held for the first time, Trull School Brass and Heathfield Brass made their debuts, and there were some excellent quartets, a ’cello ensemble and the well-known and accomplished Suzuki Groups. The Junior Singing Classes needed two venues and, with two very lively adjudicators in Ann Lampard and Bryan Husband, the young singers and their teachers were highly praised. ‘What have you got in the water in Taunton to make such wonderful singers – please bottle it for sale!’, said Ann Lampard. A new feature was the Choir Workshop, when groups from Taunton and Bridgwater had a most stimulating and rewarding time with Bryan Husband. Outstanding solo singing came from Kate Goodridge-Griffiths, Josephine Goddard Felicity Kerr and Alexandra Wynn. Also very successful was the Workshop for four solo singers in the Senior Classes on Saturday: Bryan Husband worked skilfully to bring out an increased understanding of the music and the words of the songs, with technical tips to bring out the best in their voices. The Howard Westlake Cup for an exceptional performance in the music section was awarded to Hakimah Aziz.
In the Speech and Drama Classes, Mrs Anne Harris-Norman, adjudicator, expressed her delight at the standard of the work presented and said that she had had a very enjoyable and exciting week. She had found it extremely hard choosing the winners in each class, as the work had been so well prepared. The fluent delivery of verse and prepared reading, from both the very young to the 16 year olds was to be commended. To hear Shakespeare spoken so well had been a delight, as was the solo and duo acting. Mrs Harris-Norman was pleased to award the Miriam Chapman Award to Charlotte Hamilton who, in her opinion, showed the most endeavour and promise. She thanked the drama committee for inviting her this year.