On a cold, rainy day in February, where daylight seems like just a rumour and the sea foam on South Promenade looks like a dusting of snow, early July seems like a long way away. For those involved in the Hornsea Music Festival, these days will pass all too quickly, and not just because we’re wishing for warmer, brighter weather. This is the time we look forward to, when musicians from across the region come together for four days of joyful music making, this year between 5th and 8th July 2017. The Festival is a competition and is open to an array of musicians, organised into competition classes, depending on the instrument and style of music played or sung, a wide variety of each to say the least. The pieces performed by the singers and instrumentalists may be set or free choices, the details are available in the recently released syllabus, available online and in all good music shops, libraries and more. As the syllabus shows, and as in previous years, performers may be unaccompanied or accompanied by a pianist. However, the Music Festival, now 53 years young, continually works to provide the best opportunities for performers to take part, so new for this year, a limited number of classes will be able to perform to backing tracks on CD. Although maybe not a substitute for listening to live accompanists supporting a performer, we hope that where backing tracks can be used, it will encourage guitarists, percussionists and especially brass players to take part in what is sure to be another wonderful few days of top-quality performances and friendly competition. The details of the classes able to use backing tracks can be found in the 2017 syllabus. However for this feast of music to be truly satisfying, it of course needs its main ingredient – musicians! So, when and how do you go about entering? Well, the last date for entries is 18th April 2017, so there is still enough time for students and teachers to get entries in. That’s good news, but even better than that there’s more than one way of entering. The easiest way is to go to the Hornsea Music Festival website, the address to put into Google or similar is hornseamusicfestival.org.uk/ Here you can enter using the online entry form and also pay via paypal. The syllabus can also be found on the website. For those without access to the internet or who like a hard copy to hand, the Syllabus booklet also contains an entry form; payments for entries can be made by cheque. A Syllabus can be picked up for only 50p in Quick & Clarke, Hornsea, Beverley Music Centre and Gough & Davy music shop, Hull. They can also be viewed at Hornsea and Beverley libraries as well Hull Central Library, the Hexagon Music Centre, Beverley and the Albermarle Music Centre, Hull. So, please, go to the website or get hold of a syllabus and enter for this fabulous four day feast of music before the 18th April, you’ll be sure to enjoy it. You’ll also be making a valuable contribution to the wider City Of Culture 2017 celebrations. Further details will be available in the programmes which are due out in late May. There’s plenty to look forward to; July doesn’t seem so far away now – and the rain’s stopped!