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 .

Next Festival: 17th/18th June and 24th/25th June 2017

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 17th/18th June and 24th/25th June, jn The Hall at Challow Park.

The Final Concert will be held on Monday 26th June 2017.

We are hoping it will be a very special festival this year, as it is the Festival’s fortieth anniversary. We hope to see you there!


Our 40th Anniversary

2017 is going to be a great year for Wantage Music Festival. It will be 40 years since the first festival was held so there will be several celebrations in addition to the festival itself. The first event will be a concert on February 25th. Many of the competitors from throughout the years are amazing musicians today, and some of these wonderful people will be performing. So… mark that date in your diaries now and we will update information here as soon as the performers have confirmed their availability.. A great way to start to celebrate such a special year.

Welcome to Our New website!

As you can see, we are updating our website. We have moved to WordPress, which will be easier to update, and a new hosting provider (thank you. 34SP.com!)

We are currently busy planning the 2017 Festival, and we’ll keep this website updated as information becomes available. We’ll also be adding more useful information over the next few weeks, so do keep coming back and having a look!