Calling All Performers! The New 2018 Syllabus is Out!

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 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 perform in the Final Concert or 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 on one of the world class grand pianos in the Hall at Challow Park.

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. organ, percussion, even handbells, for soloists and groups of all sizes from 2 to 30!

Last Year’s Festival

Preparations for this year’s Festival are proceeding apace and the syllabus is now complete, with solo and group classes for all ages from 9 and under to 55+, and all levels from beginner to Grade 8 or Open.

So if you enjoy singing or playing an instrument, come and perform in front of a sympathetic audience and a professional adjudicator who will give you feedback. There are prizes for the very best singers and instrumentalists, but every performer will get comments on their performance and a certificate.

Those who enjoy listening to live music will also find plenty to enjoy during the Festival. A selection of the most interesting and outstanding performances during the festival will be presented at the final concert – not to be missed!

The 2018 outline provisional programme is given below

Saturday 16th June – Piano Classes
Sunday 17th June – String Classes (Bowed Strings and Guitars)
Sat 23rd June – Vocal Classes
Sunday 24th June – Brass, Woodwind and Miscellaneous Classes
Saturday 30th June – Instrumental Prize Finals (John Durrant Prize and Cooper Cup) and Final Concert

It will be at The Hall at Challow Park, OX12 9RH.

Adjudicators and Accompanists for 2018

The adjudicators are there to hear the performances and provide customised advice to all, from beginners to professional musicians, and to help them know what the next steps can be to further improve their performances.
All our adjudicators are highly experienced performers and teachers. They know what it is like to stand up in front of an audience and pass on their love of music, and how to help others do this more effectively.
We can now announce that our adjudicators have been selected for 2018. They have been chosen for their ability both to identify how performance can be polished and to present this in a way to leave the performers keen to put it into practice.
The adjudicators are:
 Piano :   Michael Young
 Vocal :   Julia Dewhurst
Maria Jagusz
 Strings: Oliver Gledhill
 Woodwind and Brass : Liz Childs
Once again we have the privilege of accomplished and supportive piano accompaniments played by Paul Turner on the top-rated Fazioli piano at Challow Park concert hall.

2018 FESTIVAL: 16TH/17 JUNE, 23RD/24TH JUNE AND 30TH JUNE 2018

(For 2019 Festival click here.)

Whether you are a performer or a listener, save the date for the 2017 Wantage Music Festival! It will be held over the two weekends 16th/17th June and 23rd/24th June, jn The Hall at Challow Park.

The Final Concert will be held on Saturday 30th June 2018, and will include the finals of the John Durrant prize and the Ken Cooper cup, so should be a real treat for the audience.

Wantage Music Festival AGM

Date for your diary – Thursday 12th October at 7.30pm in the hall at Challow Park.

Wantage Music Festival AGM

After 40 years in existence, WMF is looking to have some ‘new’ blood on the committee, together with more supporters generally, to make sure the festival can continue to offer great value for money, with the carefully selected adjudicators who are able to encourage performers of all ages and abilities.

The planning for the 2018 festival will start immediately after the AGM and so we need to find some people who would like to be involved in running the festival. Come along and find out more about what happens ‘behind the scenes’ and see how you can contribute.

The AGM will be followed by a time to chat over a glass of wine or fruit juice.

Prizes for Competitors, A Treat for Listeners

Listeners had a treat at the Instrumental Finals on Sunday 25th June, when junior and adult musicians nominated by each of the adjudicators competed for the instrumental finals. We heard some exceptional performances on piano, strings, woodwind and brass from competitors aged 9 (or under) upwards. They performed in front of a panel of two adjudicators, Paul Harris and Anthony Williams, who had the unenviable job of choosing the winners.

Vocal prizewinners were decided by Melanie Armitstead, the vocal adjudicator, during the song classes on Friday and Saturday 23rd and 24th June.

The Final Concert on Monday 26th June gave everyone another opportunity to hear some of the prizewinners and other notable performances, and was enjoyed by all.

Prizewinners were:

The John Durrant Prize for the best instrumentalist aged 18 or under: Sasha Canter

The Cooper Cup for the best instrumentalist aged over 18: Brian Thomas

The John Miller Prize, for the best singer aged 28 or under in the Song Recital classes: Cathy Sim

The Wantage Town Shield for the best singer aged over 28: Shelley Cox

Our thanks go to the Wantage Town Council for sponsoring the Instrumental Finals afternoon, and to the Guild of King Alfred Players, the Wantage Town Council, and Alan Cooper for donating the prizes.

Also to all the performers throughout the Festival, who all worked hard to produce performances that we could enjoy, and to the adjudicators who encouraged, taught and inspired the competitors while assessing them, and gave many hints and tips to show how they might take their performing to the next level.

Here comes the festival! Outline Programme Here!

Do come and be our audience and that for our performers. Enjoy listening to our young and not-so-young performers and hear our expert adjudicators. It’s like a combination of a concert and a series of masterclasses!

It’s at The Hall at Challow Park, OX12 9RH. You can attend any and every session (except the final concert) with a ticket costing £3. Youngsters in full time education do not pay to be in the audience, but must be with an adult. Full details are in the Festival Programme, available for £2.50 at the hall.

This is the 2017 outline programme, to give an idea of what you can expect. The 2018 outline programme will be available closer to the Festival dates.

Saturday 17th June -afternoon – 2pm to 4pm, strings (including guitars); evening – 5.30pm to 7pm strings (including concerto class)

Sunday 18th June – morning 10.30am to 12.30pm, piano; afternoon 2pm to 5pm piano (including recital)

Friday 23rd June – evening- 6pm to 8.15pm – vocal (including recitals – the John Miller Prize for young singers will be announced)

Saturday 24th June – singers all day – 10am-12.15pm, 2pm to 5pm and 6pm-8.30pm.  All styles from folk and Songs from the Shows to Opera and Oratorio. Soloists and small and large ensembles.

Sunday 25th June – morning 10:30am – 12:30pm, brass: afternoon 2pm-4pm, instrumental ( including finals for the John Durrant Prize and Ken Cooper Cup.)

Monday 26th June, 7pm – Festival Final Concert (tickets on the door £7/£4.50).



Come to the festival

Entries are closed and the programme is being prepared.

Tickets to the  sessions are available on the door.

There is a great variety of music for all to enjoy listening to at the Festival including the final concert of special performances from the festival.

A single £3 ticket admits to all sessions across both weekends, school children are free.

Sessions cover vocal solos, piano, brass, strings, guitar, woodwind and choirs and chamber music.  Expert advice from adjudicators throws light on our appreciation of the performances.


Download The Syllabus

The Syllabus

The 2018 syllabus is now available.

Download it here!

To enter, go here.

You can now enter online, or you can still enter by post if you prefer.

The closing date has now been extended to April 3rd.

So decide now which classes you would like to enter and what you would like to sing or play, and get your entries in!


Ruby Anniversary Celebration Concert February 25th 2017

It’s the ruby anniversary of the Wantage Music Festival in 2017 and there will be events held through the year. The first will be a celebratory concert on Saturday February 25th at Challow Park Concert Hall with outstanding performers from the 40 years of the festival that was founded by the well-loved pianist John Durrant. The  festival has nurtured many talents who have gone on to be well known performers in the Oxfordshire area and beyond.

The concert will feature some of the best recent prizewinners and competitors and some friends of the Festival. Profits from the concert will go towards providing quality adjudication and accompaniments for the festival which will be held in June 2017.

The concert will start at 7.30 and tickets will be available on the door at £10 or £5 for students and children .

Please note card payments cannot be accepted but cash payments are welcome – we apologise for the error about this in some publications .