All posts by Gay and Alan Cooper

Donations Welcome

We have made several changes as part of our Covid Policy this year, and, for one year only, will not receive any income from sales of programmes or refreshments or from tickets for listeners – we are going cashless this year.

We would welcome donations small or large, however. You can donate using the QR code or donate button on the Donations page.

2021 Programme Available Here

We are not selling our usual detailed programme this year as we are reducing paper handling and eliminating cash handling as part of our Covid Policy. You can now read or download a schedule of performances from our Programme pages.

We regret to remind you that only those registered with us (e.g. as a supporter of one of the performers) will be able to come and listen this year as we have had to limit audience numbers.

Looking Forward to This Year’s Festival

After many months of making music at home or online we are excited to be able to hold an in-person event this year. Because Covid is unfortunately still a reality we are running a smaller Festival this year, but we have had a good response from entrants and are looking forward to two good days of music making.

We have been working hard to ensure this year’s Festival is safe for everyone, and entrants will have already been informed of some changes in our procedures. See here for more information on our Covid Policy.

We have a different venue this year. Wantage Methodist Church in the town centre is able to be Covid-secure and we are grateful for the opportunity to hold the Festival there. See here to find out where to go.

Entries For 2021 Have Now Closed!

Entries have now closed so if you haven’t got your 2021 entries in we are afraid you are too late for this year. Do come and perform next year!

Online entries closed at 11:59pm on Friday 23rd April and paper entries had to reach the entry secretary on that day. We had to finalise the adjudicators’ hours the very next day!

We are pleased to have received a number of entries in our wide range of instrumental,  vocal and miscellaneous classes and are now busy planning our programme for the two days. The piano and instrumental day will be particularly full.

We are also finalising our procedures to make sure the Festival is Covid-secure – more information nearer the time. If we should have to cancel your class or if you have to withdraw because of Covid symptoms or if you have to self-isolate don’t worry – we’ll refund your entry fee so you won’t lose out.



Introducing our Adjudicators and Accompanist for 2021

We are delighted to introduce our adjudicators and accompanists for 2021! All are highly experienced musicians with extensive experience of performing and teaching.

They and their pupils have considerable experience of performing at a high level both nationally and internationally, so they know what it is like to perform in a competition. 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 as well as a mark-sheet 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 at no extra cost. We regret that due to Covid-19 precautions it will not be possible for performers to bring their own accompanist this year.

This year we are delighted to welcome Paul Turner again as our official accompanist. He has wide experience in Britain and overseas in many genres and competitors and listeners alike have enjoyed his sensitive accompaniments at previous Festivals. He will have available the world class 6ft 7in Shigeru Kawai concert sized grand piano kindly loaned by Graham Blyth.


Calling All Performers! The 2021 Syllabus is Now Out!

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 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  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.

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. percussion, small group classes including a chamber music class and an Entertainment Class for soloists and household groups. Group classes will have to obey social distancing rules at the time but household groups will always be allowed.

Happy New Year! 2021 Festival.

We wish you a Happy New Year, and we hope 2021 will be better than 2020!

Although Wantage is currently in near lockdown, they say it is always darkest just before dawn! With the hope given by the new vaccines and the spring and summer weather to come we are now busy planning the 2021 Festival.


We cannot yet be sure when it will be safe for our lives to get back to normal so we have to plan to run the Festival in a Covid-secure way. So it will be shorter than usual, with fewer classes to allow adequate social distancing, ventilation and cleaning between classes, but there will still be something for everyone. Watch this space for further information, or like our Facebook page.


We look forward to seeing you in June. In the meantime we can all continue to enjoy music at home, whether singing, playing or listening – there are some great resources online! And if you find anything online that you think others might like, including YouTube or Facebook videos of yourself, why not share it on the Wantage Music Festival Facebook page?


The Wantage Music Festival Annual General Meeting 2020 will be held on Thursday 8th October, 8pm via Zoom.

Everyone with any interest in Wantage Music Festival is welcome, whether you are a past or present entrant, parent, teacher, group leader, spectator, helper or just interested. It’s online so you’ll be able to join us from the comfort of your own home – distance no object!

With the pandemic there’s not so much to put in the formal reports this year so we’ll have more time to look forward to 2021. There will be an open forum and we would love to hear your opinions – what you like about the Festival, what you think we can improve, and any changes you would like to see.

We would also love to see some new faces on our friendly organizing team to contribute their ideas and help with the planning and smooth running of the festival next year.

Then this time next year we shall be able to look forward to the warm glow that we have after a successful festival with memories of the festival’s friends working and socialising together and many fine performances.

Please CLICK HERE to register for the AGM on Eventbrite (no charge). Register now and the AGM paperwork will be sent to you in early October along with the Zoom meeting details.

We hope to see you on the 8th but, if you can’t make it and would like to comment or help the team, please contact Helen Carter at

Festival Cancelled for 2020 Due to Covid-19

It is with regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the music festival this year due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19.  We shall be back next year. In the meantime  do visit  our Facebook page, where you will see items of interest to musicians and music lovers as well as updates about next year’s festival.

Below is a letter from our Vice-Chairman:

Dear Supporter,

As you can imagine, we have been increasingly concerned about the possible effect of the Covid-19 on the Festival, which brings together people from across a wide area. Our priority has to be the health of our participants, audience, volunteers and staff.

Monday’s change in government strategy is expected to reduce the infection peak but it is likely that the social curbs will last through to July or August and include our Festival.

So, after much discussion, we have decided to cancel this year’s Wantage Music Festival forthwith. It is fairer to all to do this now rather than wait until it becomes inevitable. Those of you who have already submitted entries will be contacted and refunded.

Thank you for your continuing support of the Festival. We will, of course, be back in 2021, at the same time of year. Hope to see you then.

Kind regards,
Helen Carter

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