About Wantage Music Festival

Wantage Music Festival

 Welcome to the Wantage Music Festival web site. We have been holding a Music Festival annually at Wantage for over 40 years, at St.Mary’s School for our first thirty years until its closure, then in the splendid facilities of The Hall at Challow Park, and now at Wantage Methodist Church in the town centre. 

The purpose of Wantage Music Festival is to provide a platform for musicians to perform their music in a friendly atmosphere and to receive advice from an adjudicator, with extensive performing and teaching experience, to indicate the way to improve the performance. We welcome performers of all ages and experience.

The festival is divided into classes of different instruments and singing types (folk, classical, lieder, opera, showtime etc). Usually at the end of a class the adjudicator gives a view of the strengths and possibilities for improvement of each performance as well as any comments across all the performances. There are non-competitive classes for those who prefer not to be classified, in the other classes the performances are classed at different levels.

The classes include classes at different grade levels of the national grade scheme so you can play the music of the level you are at. There are also age classes starting at age 7 or lower as well as open classes where anyone can play or sing (or both).

There is an official accompanist available for all classes except piano and guitar. You can request the accompanist on the entry form and if you want you can agree with the accompanist to rehearse your piece or pieces with piano accompaniment before the festival. The accompanist will let you know what their fee is for the rehearsal slot.

So the festival can get all musicians practising and performing be they young or old, experienced or beginner, singer and/or instrumentalist, confident or more tentative. In each case you will be in good hands and will hear other performances and can compare your views with those of the adjudicator all of which is part of the festival experience.

The festival ends with an exciting finale with play-offs for prizes for instrument performers and a concert with items chosen from  the whole festival giving a taste of the wide range of music heard throughout the festival. Prizes and trophies are presented during the festival finale.

We use the British Federation of Festivals’ performance categories: Outstanding, Distinction, Commended, Merit, Moderate and Fair. We especially welcome new entrants and, of course, audiences. Our admission charges for audience members are deliberately kept very modest and it’s an excellent way to come and hear music live in Wantage! Do come and listen.

Wantage Music festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech , of which Her Majesty the Queen is Patron.