Festival Report 2008
After the memorable day of Piano classes at the 95th Music and Drama Festival, the rest of the week provided further achievements and delights. On Tuesday, Wind classes took place in the Birchall Hall, Queen’s College, with Keith Allen’s excellent, clear and encouraging adjudications; the standard of woodwind, recorder and brass playing was commendably high, with Saxophonist, Daisy Newberry’s sensitive performance gaining the Outstanding grade of the day. Andrew Sherwood adjudicated the Strings day with his customary thoughtfulness and passionate interest in every aspect of the performers’ playing. In addition to the usual talented orchestral string players (Daisy Newberry, on violin, gained another Outstanding grade) there were several Classical Guitarists, an outstanding Flute/Guitar duo, Jessica and Robin Danaher, and in complete contrast, Bridgwater College’s exciting Rock Academy A and B Bands shook the Old Music Room! Vocal classes, popular as ever, required two venues to accommodate the number of singers. Luise Horrocks and Benjamin Costello brilliantly adjudicated a Junior Vocal day full of variety: well prepared solos and duets ranged from children as young as 10 to students of 18, songs from Musical Shows attracted dozens of young people, and choir classes included groups from Wellington Junior School, Bridgwater College and Castle School. Saturday’s Senior Vocal classes included a dazzling performance from Bridgwater College’s Show Choir; smooth singing from Taunton’s Somerset Hills Chorus, (who won the Barbershop class) and choirs from Exeter and Exmouth, as well as many accomplished solo classes, and a fine workshop for solo singers, directed by Luise Horrocks. There were over one thousand entries this year which is enormously encouraging for the teachers and parents of so many talented children. A wonderful week’s music making will culminate in the Showcase Concert, featuring many of the most successful entries, which takes place at St Michael the Archangel Church, Galmington, on Sunday 23rd November at 3.30pm. This promises to be an exceptionally enjoyable afternoon: be there if you can!
Speech & Drama
‘He teeters but succeeds.
The word applause is written all over him.’
Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘Talent’, from which the above is taken perfectly sums up the greatest part of the Speech and Drama section of our Festival.We have some enormously talented individuals who ooze confidence and panache as they perform their carefully rehearsed pieces during our week, but we also have hundreds of other entrants.They don’t necessarily win their sections, things sometimes don’t go to plan, but they don’t ever lose, they overcome their own fears and trepidations to give ‘their performance of a lifetime’. The joy we as organisers, parents and teachers receive from these entrants is enormous, but, more importantly, the experience and confidence they gain will stay with them for the rest of their lives.So as we end our week, I salute the winners:I enjoyed your performances, but I also salute those who win in their own way.I enjoyed every one of the 500 or so children I watched perform at the Temple Methodist Hall last week:thank you all for taking part.Thank you to your teachers and parents and, of course, thank you to Michael Stone our incredible adjudicator.He gave his enormous experience and enthusiasm freely and generously to each one of you.As we all were, he was enormously impressed with the range and quality of work displayed.I must also mention John Carrington, who adjudicated for the first time our 8-year Prepared Reading section, we hope to have you back again next year.Finally a huge thank you to the drama section committee.As a new secretary I really appreciated all your help, enthusiasm, experience and commitment to this fantastic Festival.I can’t wait until next year!