All posts by Gay and Alan Cooper


For over 45 years the Wantage Music Festival has been encouraging aspiring musicians young and old and delighting audiences. Singers and instrumentalists alike have taken part in the joy of music making,  and the feedback they have received from our expert adjudicators has helped  many to progress their performing to the next level.

Now we have reached a crisis point. Without more volunteers we cannot continue the Festival. We really would be very sad if we have to discontinue the Festival after it has made such a difference to the musical life of Wantage and surrounding areas for so long.

If you think you can help in any way please come to the special meeting at Wantage Methodist Church at 8pm on Thursday 28th September 2023.

If you may be able to help but cannot come to the meeting, please contact our Vice Chair, David Lynch on 0755 435 0055 or Please also pass this on to anyone you know who may be able to help.

A big thank you to the Wantage Herald,  Round and About and other local publications for helping us to get the word out.




Wantage Music Festival provides an opportunity for singers and instrumentalists to perform before a supportive audience and receive expert feedback on how to improve their performance. The Festival receives entries from adults and children with all levels of skill. Some entrants enjoy music making as amateurs and some go on to make music their career. We are pleased to have helped all these people get more enjoyment from their music and gain valuable performing experience.

As you may be aware we were unable to run a Festival this year because we no longer have enough committee members to organise and run a Festival. To continue we need to recruit someone willing to lead the organisation as chair and three more people prepared to join the committee and take an active role in organising the Festival.

Can you help, or do you know someone who can? We are calling a General Meeting next Thursday 28th September 8.00pm at the Methodist Church, Wantage to discuss the future of the Festival. Regrettably if we don’t get the volunteers we need after that we will have to wind up the Festival. The Festival has contributed to the musical life of Wantage for over 45 years and we hope it has a future but this can only happen if we get more support.

If you would like more information about the Festival and what help is needed, please contact the vice-chair, David Lynch, or phone 0755 435 0055

It’s not too late to forward this invitation to anyone you know who is interested in music making in Wantage.

David Lynch (acting chair, WMF)


With regret we have decided we cannot run our normal Festival this year. For a while the rate at which volunteers retire from the committee has exceeded the rate at which people volunteer and we have reached the point where we feel we don’t have the resources to put on our traditional Festival.

We hope to run a smaller, more local, event this year and see if we can attract support to revitalise the Festival for future years. Anyone who would like to help with this do please get in touch. We could use help with advertising, organising and fund raising, and you should be rewarded with a sense of achievement.

To all the people who normally enter the festival, either themselves or encourage their pupils to enter, our thanks for past support and apologies. We do hope to be back.



You are invited to the AGM on October 13th where you can give your feedback and put your ideas forward. We also need more volunteers to help with planning and administration to secure the future of the festival.

Our Offering

Since 1977 the Wantage Music Festival has been offering amateur musicians of all ages the opportunity to perform in public before a professional who then gives supportive comments aimed at encouraging even better music making.

This Year’s Festival

Reflections on 2022 and our Officers’ reports.

The Future

How relevant is our offering? New classes? New ideas? New events?

Local Musicians

We are proud to welcome performers from a wide area but we have noticed that nowadays fewer people from Wantage, Grove and surrounding areas take part than used to be the case. We’d like to find good ways to reverse this trend, and we’d like to hear from you how we might do this.

Volunteers Urgently Needed

We need people to join our small, friendly committee and help with planning and administration of the Festival for it to continue. There are various tasks required ranging from social media postings, advertising the Festival, seeking sponsorship, arranging concert refreshments and food for adjudicators, secretarial activities, safeguarding and others. If you think you may be able to help in any way, however small, contact us on: or let us know at the meeting.

Financial Support

Sponsors? Advertisers?

Where & When

Thursday 13 October at 8pm in the Methodist Chapel, 20 Newbury Street. This will be a hybrid meeting. If you can’t come in person please email for a Zoom link. If you have ideas or are willing to help but are unable to join us at the AGM, do contact us using this email link.

Roll of Honour 2022

The Roll of Honour lists the prizewinners at the recent Wantage Music Festival which took place in June 2022 with the Festival Finale on July 3rd when exceptional performers played and the prizes were awarded.

The festival is open to musicians of all degrees of ability and all ages. Performers receive  sensitive advice from our very experienced adjudicators to help them on their musical path. The most outstanding performers can also be invited to play at the Festival Finale concert or can be awarded cash prizes or trophies. The prizes for exception musical performers are intended to provide an incentive to continue their musical journey up to the highest levels.

Some performers at the festival have continued to the BBC Young Musician contest and a life in music while many others have continued both to give and receive pleasure with their singing and playing.

Join Our Audience

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

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!