Well, it’s all over! What a Festival it has been! It’s always such hard work putting it all together, struggling to book venues, work out timings for classes and sessions, print mark sheets and certificates, polish trophies, print admission cards, …the list goes on! Sometimes, just before the festival, we’re all asking… is it really worth it? We can now reveal that the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’. It’s worth it to see to see the ‘Violin Repertoire Class for 11 years & under’ with so many entrants (32) that it had to be divided into 2 parts, and to see the enthusiasm and virtuosity as these young players as take their first steps at performing in front of an audience. As one of the parent emailed to me, “I would like to take this opportunity to say that the festival was a brilliant showcase for young aspiring musicians, of which the quality of musical talent was excellent, and that the efforts of beginners was also an inspiration.” String playing is not confined to the young. Altogether we had 7 Sessions of String playing. It’s also great to see our more experienced ‘regulars’, especially in adult vocal classes, who are like one big Hornsea Music Festival family! This year we successfully introduced several New Classes, many of which were a real joy to behold. These included;
Double Bass Solo – 16 yrs & under – great to see how musical this instrument can sound when it’s given it’s own time to shine!
Two Skills – various age-groups. This show-cases some of our multi-talented musicians and we were treated to some unusual pairings of instruments such as piano & saxophone, and violin & xylophone.
New Vocal Classes included a Disney Solo Class, Song from the Shows Solo and Popular Song Solo (younger age-groups) and French Song and Humorous/Comic song in the adult classes. The Humorous/Comic Song attracted the attention of 5 contestants who gave their hilarious renderings to an appreciative audience in the URC on Saturday afternoon. As our adjudicator, Marilynne Davies declared… “…the Humorous/Comic song reduced the audience to a degree of hilarity rarely seen in the Festival movement or indeed in the URC Church!” The Class was won by Olivia Pometsey from Brantingham with a Distinction mark of 88/100. The Primary School choirs are always a delight, and this year was no exception. On Thursday morning the Floral Hall was once again full to capacity with happy and beautifully behaved children and their supporters. The largest of the choirs was from St Mary’s Primary, Beverley with a colossal 55 members. They well deserved to win the trophy in the unaccompanied class. Hornsea Community Primary, with its 25 members, again did our town proud and walked off with the trophy for the accompanied class. Even so, for many of us who were watching, perhaps our biggest treat was to see the tiny choir of Stockwell Academy Infants from Hull, with just 13 members, when they won the Infant Singing and Percussion Class – it was first time they had ever won anything. The expressions on their little faces when they heard the result were just a delight to behold… I don’t think the twinkling eyes and beaming smiles left their faces all the way home! Thursday morning ended with our 2 regular Primary School Orchestras who never miss their day at the seaside – all the way from Doncaster. These are Kirk Sandall (44 musicians) and the Rossington St Michael’s C of E Primary Orchestra. Marilynne Davies was faced with such an impossible task to choose between them – that she declared them both winners… Kirk Sandall for the best full orchestra with strings, including 8 double-basses! Rossington St Michaels for being the best wind band. It meant that they had to share the trophy but everyone went away happy, and very appreciative of each other’s talents. On Saturday morning.. we had more treats with 3 Family Ensembles and 2 East Riding String Orchestras (Junior and Intermediate) and the inimitable ‘Hornsea Ukulele Group’. All of them, a delight to listen to. It is now the tradition to present 2 special trophies during the final session on Saturday evening. The first of these is the Hornsea Twinning Association Trophy for highest scoring Hornsea contestant. This was won by singer, Daisy Waite in the Disney Solo Class (10 &11 years). She gained a ‘Distinction’ grade with her score of 89/100 marks. The second special trophy is the ‘Jubilee Trophy’, donated by adjudicator Stanley Roocroft MBE on the occasion of the Festival’s Golden Jubilee in 2014. It is presented to the entrant gaining the highest overall mark in the Festival. This year it was won by a young viola player, Emily Harros from Sutton, who had her 17th birthday during the festival. Emily is already making quite a name for herself as she has been accepted as a member of the National Youth Orchestra and has already performed with the orchestra in such prestigious venues as the Barbican. Even so, she is keen to let us know that she considers Hornsea Music Festival as her favourite festival, and she intends to be back next year. She won the String Repertoire Class with an ‘Outstanding’ performance that gained the festival’s top score of 92/100 marks. If you missed all these musical treats, why not make a note in your diary right now so you can come and watch Emily, Daisy and other top performers as they come together at Hornsea URC for the “Celebration Concert”. It takes place at 6.30pm on Saturday 1st October 2016. Tickets will be available during August and September from The Vernon Gallery, Newbegin, at just £5 for adults (accompanied children free). DON’T MISS IT! (Keith Robinson – Hon Chairman) (From 30th June) Hornsea Music Festival – the wait will soon be over! Whether there be rain or shine, summer is here at last!
For competitors from all round the area, this means it’s time to perfect their pieces and polish their performances in readiness for the 2016 Hornsea Music Festival, which gets under way at 9 am on Wednesday 6th and runs through to Saturday 9th July.
Those of you familiar with the Festival may be surprised, even amazed to see this year’s event starting one day earlier than normal. This is because of the fantastic number of entries this year, a real testament to the talent across our region and the enthusiasm for this wonderful Festival taking place here in Hornsea, 52 years on from the first!
As always, there really is something for all music lovers, as performers of all ages and levels of experience take part in competitions across a wide range of instruments and styles, individual singers and choirs too.
The musicians are competing to win their classes and the trophies that go with them, and this year we are very fortunate to have at least three new trophies.
The first is dedicated to the late Amy Black of Hedon who was a mezzo-soprano opera singer of international repute. Very sadly, she passed away at the age of just 36 in 2009, having sung for Glyndebourne Opera and the English National Opera amongst many others. We are grateful and very honoured that her father, Councillor Neil Black, the current Mayor of Hedon, will be presenting the ‘Amy Black Trophy’ as part of this year’s Festival.
We will also have for the first time the ‘Julie and Tim Blanchard Shield’ in memory of Julie Blanchard, a musician who sadly died at the age of 16 and her father Tim, who was tragically killed in an accident. Again our thanks go to those who have provided the Shield in honour and memory of their loved ones.
At the time of writing there are possibilities of other trophies also being presented for the first time, including the ‘Janet Andrews Trophy’ in memory of Janet Andrews who contributed much to the Hornsea community.
All of the new trophies will be keenly contested with the performers giving their all to our experienced adjudicators in order to be judged winners of their class.
Alongside the competitive element to the Festival, there is the sheer love of music-making and the desire to entertain. However hard the performers have worked and however much they give, there is nothing like performing to an appreciative audience to bring out the best in them.
So if you have any time available between 9 am Wednesday 6th July and early evening of Saturday 9th July, please come along and support this marvellous Festival-by-the-sea.
The various competitions can be found at the Parish Hall, Newbegin, Hornsea United Reformed Church (on the corner of New Road and Cliff Road), and of course the Floral Hall, (on Esplanade).
Programmes are available at a cost of £2.00 from Quick & Clarke, Market Place in Hornsea, Beverley Music Centre in Norwood and Gough & Davy in Hull, (part of the Hull City Hall building).
Details can also be found on our website: http://hornseamusicfestival.org.uk
As you can see, the Festival has so much to offer, four full days of music, which for a start is one more than Glastonbury, and with single session tickets at £2, day tickets at £3 and a Festival pass at just £5 you get all this music without the mud!
So music lovers, whatever the weather, please do come along, you’ll be made very welcome and I know you’ll be in for a treat.