All posts by Gay and Alan Cooper

Your Chance to Listen 2019

If you enjoy listening to live music the Wantage Music Festival provides a plethora of it! Young and not-so-young musicians from all around bring their favourite pieces to play and be heard by the audience and an adjudicator who provides expert guidance both on the aspects of the performance that communicate well as well as what could be looked at to take the performance to a higher level.

The audience provides the musicians with the chance to communicate their performance which is valuable to those who don’t often get that opportunity. For the audience it is like listening to a masterclass, and every year they get the chance to hear some exceptional performances.

Classes
take place over two weekends and are open for audience members. One £3 ticket guarantees admission to all classes on both weekends. Children free. More information here.

On the third Saturday afternoon there is a festival finale with some of the finest performances, including the play-offs for instrumental prizes and also presentation of other prizes.

Meet our Adjudicators and Accompanists!

We are delighted to introduce our adjudicators and accompanist for 2019! All are highly experienced musicians with extensive experience of performing and teaching.

They have won many prizes between them, so they know what it is like to compete in a music festival. They also know how to communicate their love of music through both their singing or playing and their teaching.

For the entrants it is a chance to have their performance evaluated by a top professional. Each performer receives a certificate and a marksheet with helpful comments on their performance.

For those who come to listen it is like attending a masterclass as they hear the performances followed by the adjudicators’ summing up, often with tips to help the performers develop their singing or playing,

Our performers also have the opportunity to  be accompanied by our highly qualified official accompanist, this year at no extra cost, although some choose to bring their own accompanist.

Paul Turner is a highly experienced recitalist both in the UK and internationally and excels in a wide range of genres. He will have at his disposal the Hall’s two world class concert sized grand pianos: a 7ft 5in Fazioli F228 and a 6ft 7in Shigeru Kawaia 7ft 5in Fazioli F228 and a 6ft 7in Shigeru Kawai.

 

Festival Update

Entries are being processed and the programme finalised. Dates for each section are given below, and outline timings will be added in mid to late May.

Saturday 22nd June – Piano classes

Sunday 23rd June – Other Instrumental classes (Brass, Woodwind, Bowed Strings, Guitars, Miscellaneous)

Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June – Vocal classes

Saturday 6th July – Festival Finale, including the instrumental finals (John Durrant award and Cooper Cup),  Chairman’s Choice of other outstanding and enjoyable vocal and instrumental performances selected from the whole Festival, and the Presentation of Prizes (vocal, instrumental solo and the new Challow Park Chamber Music prize).

Performers: if you have requested the services of the Official Accompanist please send a copy of your music to the Music Librarian as soon as possible if you have not already done so. See the syllabus (page 6) for the address and regulations.

Volunteers: We always need people to help, both in the entrance hall and the main hall. If you would like to be part of making this festival possible, and hear as much as you would like of the competition at no charge, contact our Helpers’ Organiser.

Audience: Do come and be our audience and that for our performers. Enjoy listening to our young and not-so-young performers and hear our expert adjudicators. It’s like a combination of a concert and a series of masterclasses!

It’s at The Hall at Challow Park, OX12 9RH. You can attend any and every session (except the final concert) with a ticket costing £3. Youngsters in full time education do not pay to be in the audience, but must be with an adult. Full details are in the Festival Programme, available for £3.00 at the hall.

Syllabus 2019

The 2019 syllabus has been undergoing final checks and is now available here.

You can enter by post or online. Please note that entries for 2019 are now closed, but you can come and listen to the Festival.

This year a new feature of the festival is the Challow Park Chamber Music Prize.  This prize of £100 is sponsored by the Challow Park Music trust and will be awarded to a group competing in the Chamber Music class 280.

Watch this space for updates, or see our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

 

Calling All Performers! The 2019 Syllabus is Now Out!

We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Festival Syllabus is now available. So if you, or your child or your pupil, are an enthusiastic or aspiring singer or musician, download the syllabus now and see what classes you would like to enter.

You have the opportunity to perform in front of a sympathetic audience and a highly qualified adjudicator who will provide helpful advice while assessing you, and you will receive a written adjudication and a certificate. You will be able to enjoy hearing other performers. If you do really well you may even get the chance to perform in the Final Concert or be considered for one of our cash prizes or trophies.

There is a not to be missed opportunity to be accompanied at no extra cost by our widely experienced accompanist on one of the world class grand pianos in the Hall at Challow Park.

We have classes for all ages from 9 and under to 55 and over, singers in many genres, instruments including strings (guitars as well as orchestral) , woodwind, brass, piano. organ, percussion, even handbells, for soloists and groups of all sizes from 2 to 30!

Please note entries for 2019 are now closed but it is still possible to come and listen.

This Year’s Festival

Preparations for this year’s Festival are proceeding apace and the syllabus is now complete, with solo and group classes for all ages from 9 and under to 55+, and all levels from beginner to Grade 8 or Open.

This year a new feature of the festival is the Challow Park Chamber Music Prize.  This prize of £100 is sponsored by the Challow Park Music trust and will be awarded to a group competing in the Chamber Music class 280.

So if you enjoy singing or playing an instrument, come and perform in front of a sympathetic audience and a professional adjudicator who will give you feedback. There are prizes for the very best singers and instrumentalists, but every performer will get comments on their performance and a certificate.

Those who enjoy listening to live music will also find plenty to enjoy during the Festival. A selection of the most interesting and outstanding performances during the festival will be presented at the final concert – not to be missed!

The provisional outline programme for 2019 is given below

Saturday 22nd June – Piano Classes
Sunday 23rd June – String Classes (Bowed Strings and Guitars) Sunday 23rd June – Brass, Woodwind and Miscellaneous Classes
Sat 29th and Sunday 30th June (possibly also 28th) – Vocal Classes
Saturday 6th July – Instrumental Prize Finals (John Durrant Prize and Cooper Cup) and Final Concert

It will be at The Hall at Challow Park, OX12 9RH.

Online and Postal Entries for 2019 Have Now Closed

The Wantage Music Festival Association is pleased to announce that it is possible to enter either online or by post. So you don’t need to hunt for envelopes or stamps to get your entry in, or wait for the post. You can enter yourself, or enter others as a Teacher, Parent/Guardian. or as an organisation such as a choir or a group.

Entries for 2019 are now closed. If you have already entered for this year we look forward to hearing you in June. If you are interested in performing but missed this year we’d love to see you next year. Entries for 2020 are expected o open around early February. In the meantime do come along and listen to this year’s festival.

You’ll find instructions and a link to the online entry system here.

If you’d rather enter by post you can still do that. It’s your choice!

So you have plenty of time to decide what you would like to sing or play next year before you get your entries in!  (If you haven’t decided by then, just put tba.)

The deadline was Friday April 5th 2019 so to all those who got your entries in, we’ll see you in June!

Adjudicators and Accompanists for 2019

The adjudicators are there to hear the performances and provide customised advice to all, from beginners to professional musicians, and to help them know what the next steps can be to further improve their performances.
All our adjudicators are highly experienced performers and teachers. They know what it is like to stand up in front of an audience and pass on their love of music, and how to help others do this more effectively.
We can now announce that our adjudicators have been selected for 2019. They have been chosen for their ability both to identify how performance can be polished and to present this in a way to leave the performers keen to put it into practice.
The adjudicators are:
Piano :                                                         Ruth Gerald
Strings, Woodwind and Brass:    Kay Tucker 
Vocal :                                                         Maria Jagusz
                                                                        Sarah Jefferies 
 
Once again we have the privilege of accomplished and supportive piano accompaniments played by Paul Turner on the top-rated Fazioli piano at The Hall at Challow Park.

Privacy Policy

We need to keep some information about all festival entrants so we can plan our programme, produce a printed programme, prepare marksheets and certificates, let them know when they are performing etc. We also know that many of you would like us to inform you about future festivals.

In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation we aim to keep you informed and not to keep more information about you than we need to. So we have developed a Privacy Policy, which you can see here. We shall also send it to all entrants.