Hornsea Music Festival 2016

As I write this, a chilly East wind is blowing, with hailstone and snow in some parts, so what better time to look forward to July and the Hornsea Music Festival?  If you don’t know already, this is an annual music festival which has been running since 1964, open to performers of all ages, standards and instruments.  This year it’s taking place between Thursday 7th and Saturday 9th July.   Last year saw a fine selection of solo singers, choirs, violinists and wind players participating.  Not only that, there were family bands, steel bands and a 55 piece orchestra amongst the competitors who performed in The Floral Hall, URC and Methodist Churches.   That sounds brilliant I hear you say, how do I find out more?  Well for this year, there is a revamped website, www.hornseamusicfestival.org.uk where you can find out everything you need to know about the festival.   Most importantly at this time of year, as the entry process begins, it has a section for the syllabus.  This is the bit that tells you all about the different instruments, ensembles and competitions that you can either enter or come along and listen to.  This section can be accessed from the main home page, so it couldn’t be easier to find.  Whether you’re 8 or 80, soloist or ensemble player, there’s plenty to choose from and the syllabus gives plenty of information on types of ensemble and lengths of pieces.   So once the syllabus has been checked, what about entering?  This can be done using the online entry form, also easily accessible from the home page, which will guide entrants through the entry process.  Personally I’m thinking of entering the family band class, and the online entry form makes that all the easier for me to do.   If you’re not a potential competitor or teacher, you may like to come along and watch the performances anyway, it’s live music on our doorsteps.   The website will tell you what’s on offer; this is a festival for everyone to enjoy, not just participants and families, and at £5 for a 3 day pass, £3 for a day ticket and £2 for a single session, it’s a bargain!   So please take a good look at the new hornseamusicfestival.org.uk website where all I’ve said and more can be found, ready for what again promises to be a wonderful three days of live music for all in our wonderful town of Hornsea.   Saturday 10th October 2015     Hornsea Festival Celebration Concert.   Saturday 10th October saw this year’s Hornsea Festival Celebration Concert hosted at the Floral Hall for the first time.  The newly-renamed Celebration Concert is a chance for a selection of performances, first given as part of the three day Hornsea Music Festival, to be brought together in one show.   The Celebration Concert showcased performers who had won their classes during the Festival competitions in July of this year, selected to display a wide range of styles.  And what a wide range it was!   There was the remarkable 50-piece Primary School Orchestra from Kirk Sandall near Doncaster who played music to celebrate 70 years since the end of World War II.  It was wonderful to see such a large Orchestra including guitars and a section of reduced-size double basses alongside all the strings, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and to hear them play so well.  There was chance for the near-capacity crowd in the Floral Hall to join in with ‘Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag,’ which they did heartily.  The travelling and efforts of the teachers and parents of the musicians was very much appreciated.   We also had the superb ‘Steel Trinity’ Youth Steel Band, who came from Hull, giving a flavour of the Caribbean with their rhythmic renditions of ‘Island In The Sun’ leading into ‘Soul Limbo’, or the old BBC Cricket Theme as I remember it!   The ever-entertaining Hornsea Ukelele Group delighted the audience with, amongst others, a wonderful arrangement of ‘Sentimental Journey’ by their teacher Chris Stubbs.   The winners of this year’s family class were the highly talented Constantine family from Patrington.  For their selection of pieces, mother Karen played piano, father David played violin and 11 year old Liam played piano, violin, and drums, the latter two in the traditional folk tune ‘John Ryan’s Polka’.   Singers were very well represented with 8 year old Emma Duffus singing her solo very effectively.  The overall winner of this year’s Festival, Michelle Rothery wowed the audience with an operatic aria demonstrating great vocal technique and control.   If that wasn’t enough, new Festival Chairman, MC for the evening and class winner Keith Robinson performed ‘Reviewing The Situation’ from ‘Oliver’ in-character as Fagin, to great effect.   We had a fine selection of Choirs; Village Voices from Skirlaugh, Chantons Gospel Choir from Bridlington and Hornsea Choir, each showcasing accompanied and unaccompanied pieces, individual choirs blending their harmonies beautifully.  In addition there were excellent solo instrumental pieces performed for violin, cello and piano.   Apologies to those I have not mentioned, but each performance was of a very high calibre and all were thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.   Many thanks to all who performed, those who attended and of course the Floral Hall volunteers who staffed the bar and cafe and managed the lighting and sound. Thanks also go to the Music Festival volunteers under the leadership of outgoing Chairman Judy Robinson.   If you are not familiar with the Music Festival, why not keep an eye out for it for next July?  You’ll find plenty to entertain and inspire you, and it’s all on our doorstep here in this wonderful town of Hornsea.   Keith Robinson (Hornsea Music Festival Secretary)

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