It’s top marks for our talented performers

Dancing Quartet, nine years and under. Photo by Mary Fraser's Photography. To order copies tel 01424 422815

Dancing Quartet, nine years and under. Photo by Mary Fraser's Photography. To order copies tel 01424 422815

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Speech and drama, singing and dancing were the highlights this week at the annual Hastings Musical Festival.

Scores of performers of all ages achieved top marks from judges.

Molly Townson, the festival’s chairman, said: “Hilary Clulow, from the Speech and Drama Section, spoke of the amazingly high standard from the very young performers in the Under 8 classes.

“Later she awarded 90 marks to Maria Crowter for her Original Verse, and 90 marks to the Alexander School of Speech and Drama for their One Act Play.

“Two days of Senior Singing adjudicated by Ian Kennedy produced high marks, and much praise for our local singers, as well as spontaneous workshop sessions. The historic John Lockey Championship was won by Alison Turley who also won the Vintage Song class with her performance of

With the large Dancing Section still in full swing, results to date include the winning of the Bronze Medal by Millie-Rose White, and the Silver Medal by Jessica Sutton, Molly said.

She added: “Sunday’s very busy Group Dancing saw long queues eager to enjoy the many stunning performances, and all but ‘full house’ in the gallery. Highest dancing mark to date this year of 89 was achieved by Zoe Snowball from Lincolnshire for her Tap Solo.

“Madeleine Shea wished for larger audiences to have enjoyed the very high standard of the Song and Dance Duets, won by sisters, Maisie and Ruby Edwards, and spoke from the stage of the friendliness at Hastings Musical Festival, and the wonderful facilities of the White Rock Theatre.”

The Instrumental Championship on Monday afternoon heard four performances from outstanding young musicians. Winner with 91 marks of the Championship Trophy and £150 was 11-year-old flautist Daisy Noton, who also won the Gold Medal for Woodwind. Thomas Pickering, who won the Gold Medal for recorder playing, and cellist, Isobel Richardson were each awarded 90 marks in the Championship.

Molly added: “Anne Martin, adjudicator of the Woodwind Section, said she regarded 90 marks to be a very special mark only given in exceptional cases and had only given five 90s ever in her adjudication, while Kenneth Roberts, who judged the Championship, praised the remarkably high standard of Instrumental playing in the festival.”