It’s that time of year again. Our performers young and old have been busy rehearsing and are now ready to perform their pieces in front of our adjudicators and audience. They would love you to come and hear them. We have received a wide range of entries on piano, voice, brass, strings and woodwind with ages ranging from 7 and under to 55 and over.
To enjoy some of the best performances come to the Festival Finale Concert at Wantage Parish Church on Sunday July the 3rd at 2:30 pm for just £10, schoolchildren free. You will hear a selection of prize winners and other performers who have excited, charmed or enchanted us during the Festival. This concert will also include the instrumental prize final competitions.
You can listen to a wider range of music in the class sessions on Saturdays 18th and 25th June and Sunday 26th June in Wantage Methodist Church, although capacity is limited to ensure adequate ventilation. You can enjoy the performances and learn from the adjudicators’ comments on each one – it’s like listening to a masterclass!
An outline schedule of the class sessions is available here. Full details including a detailed timetable of performers and the music they will be singing or playing are available in the souvenir programme – only £5 at Reception.
One £5 ticket gives entry to all sessions except the concert. Schoolchildren are free and we have a new family ticket at £15 so bring Granny and Grandpa as well! Tickets for class sessions will be first come first served – the choral classes between 1:30 and 3:00 pm on June 18th are already fully booked. There should be enough room for everyone at the Concert.
Good News! The deadline for entering the festival has been extended to the 14th April (Maundy Thursday). We know how busy end-of-term can be so we’ve squeezed our admin times and can let you have a few extra days. It is a great chance to enter if you thought you had missed it, or even to enter more classes .
See How to Enter here. At this stage it is best to enter online to avoid any possible delays in the post.
If you still can’t decide what you want to play or sing don’t let it hold you up! You can change your piece(s) any time up to May 27th by following the instructions here, although we would prefer you not to increase the length of your performance after the end of April when we will have set our timings.
Thank you to all those who have already entered. We look forward to hearing your performances.
Platinum Jubilee Class
Wantage Music Festival is delighted to present the Platinum Jubilee Class.
A special non-competitive class for anyone wanting to perform at the Festival. One or more pieces of music with a royal or patriotic connection. Any age. Up to fifteen performers. Any combination of instruments or voice. Time limit 8 minutes.
See Miscellaneous section for details.
Music performed could be classical or modern. It could have been played at a coronation, a royal wedding (or even a royal funeral), or any event attended by a royal – perhaps even connected with a royal entrance. It could be a piece of music known to be liked by a royal, or commissioned or even performed by a royal! Or of course any piece of patriotic music. There is a very wide choice.
You may find inspiration from composers such as Arne, Beethoven, Handel, Elgar, Holst, Charles Ives, William Walton or more recent popular composers and songwriters.
It can be a solo, with or without accompaniment – the official accompanist is available for this class- or a group performance.
So get thinking and pick a suitable piece. Tell us what the Royal or patriotic connection is (unless it is obvious) and enjoy performing it – we’ll enjoy listening!
New This Year!
For the first time this year talented pianists aged 18 and under will be eligible to compete for this new £100 prize. The winner will be chosen by the piano adjudicator from performers in the piano classes on the day.
Adult pianists will continue to be eligible for the Ken Cooper Cup, alongside other instrumentalists, and other young instrumentalists will remain eligible for the John Durrant Prize.
For the other prizes and trophies we are pleased to offer, see here. And remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it!
We are pleased to announce that the 2022 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, group classes including a chamber music class and an Entertainment Class for soloists or groups. This year there will also be a special Platinum Jubilee class.
We have been busy working on the syllabus for the 2022 Wantage Music Festival and it is now available. We are planning to have a more normal Festival this year, over two weekends.
So watch this space and put your entry in. You will be able to enjoy making music in front of other musicians and learn from each other and from one of our expert adjudicators. We can even provide you with one of our expert accompanists. And who knows, you might even win one of our prizes!
So watch this space, and now the syllabus is out, get your entry in!
Wantage Music Festival would like to say a very big thank you to those whose generosity has helped to make 2021’s Festival possible despite the threat of Covid-19.
- To Waitrose and the people of Wantage for their donation through the Community Matters (green token) scheme
- To Graham Blyth for the loan of his Shigeru Kawai grand piano
- To James Mitchell and Opera Unmasked for sponsoring the redesign and printing of the syllabus and publicity materials and also for his work liaising with other sponsors.
- To NatWest and Co-operative Banks for the RBS bank switch scheme and the cash incentive we received to switch accounts to one more suited to our needs at the Co-operative Branch.
- To 34SP for website hosting
- To those who donated prizes: the Guild of King Alfred Players (John Durrant and John Miller prizes), Wantage Town Council (Wantage Town Shield), Opera Unmasked (Opera Unmasked Prize), Alan Cooper (Ken Cooper Cup) and Challow Park Music Trust (Challow Park Chamber Music Prize)
- To the anonymous donors of additional money to the John Durrant prize fund so that prizes could be given to three outstanding young musicians in the absence of a Festival finale play off this year.
- And to those who donated through the new facility on the website or QR code. To quote a well-known phrase “every little helps”.
2021 and 2022
We were so pleased to be able to run a festival this year even though it wasn’t like any other year. And we were delighted by the number of entries and the positive responses from participants, both during and after the event, particularly about the venue. We certainly hope to be able to run a more ‘normal’ festival at the usual time in 2022 and are already negotiating with Wantage Methodist Church to use it again. Challow Park has been our home since 2007 but are fully supportive of our move to the town centre. They have offered, for the next few years, to lend us one of their excellent pianos to use for the piano competitions.
Annual General Meeting
Of course, there is much planning and organising to do before June 2022 and the next event on our calendar is our AGM, on Thursday 14th October at 8pm. We have decided to run it on Zoom, as we did last year. All are welcome and we are keen to have the views of participants and teachers about how to shape the festival for next year. If you would like to come email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you an invitation to the Zoom meeting. If you are unavailable for the AGM, we’re happy to receive written comments at least two days prior to the meeting.
WMF needs you!
Two committee members have moved on to spend more time on their own creative activities so we are looking for at least two of our supporters – participants, parents and teachers – with a couple of hours a month to spare, to join our team. Please consider this.
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.
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.