Welcome to the Wantage Music Festival 2022

I am delighted that we feel able to plan for an ‘in person’ festival again this year using The Wantage Methodist church premises, which seemed to be very popular with those who were involved in any way last year. This year we have added some Sunday sessions and increased the number of classes over that offered last year, reinstating the group classes. We hope that, by June, Covid-19 will not be prominent in the news. We will, of course, take necessary precautions as we did in 2021, but we hope these can be much less restrictive.

The Festival Finale will be held in a venue we have not used before. We will be holding that in the Wantage Parish Church. That will allow us to have a larger audience than in previous years, which is a very exciting prospect.

In 2021 quite a number of our long-time supporters felt unable to enter the festival and we truly hope most of those people will come back to us in 2022. If you entered last year and are aware of anyone who is still cautious, please do tell them about the precautions we took last year. Those resulted in a safe but still enjoyable environment and we had some lovely feedback about how good it was to be able to perform at a live festival.

We are fortunate to, once again, have the loan of Graham Blyth’s Shigeru Kawai grand piano. We really do appreciate this very generous offer from Graham. It will be available for all piano classes and most of the instrumental classes. Singers will be accompanied on the church’s excellent electronic Kawai piano.

I do hope you enjoy taking part in this long-running Festival, now in its 44th year. The Federation of Music Festivals aims to cultivate the joy of music-making and Wantage Music Festival provides a friendly and supportive platform for musicians of all ages to share in the excitement and joy of making music. While there is a competitive element to most of the classes, our prime objective is to encourage performers to learn from one another as well as from expert adjudication. Thanks to the generosity of local individuals and organisations, there are eight prizes including money, shields and cups to be won and information about these can be found here.

Sometimes attendees have been taken by surprise that we charge those coming to the festival to support their friends and family. We do this to ensure that we can keep the entry fees for performers to an affordable amount. This year we have added a family ticket for those coming to listen to the performances and the adjudicators comments. It will still be free for school age children to come and listen.

Thank you for continuing to support Wantage Music Festival. Please enjoy the experience and spread the word.

Helen Carter, WMF Chairman