Talented youngsters give top performances at festival

School ensembles representatives from each school with Molly Townson, Ken Roberts (adjudicator) and Lions Clubs representatives. Photo by Mary Frasers Photography. To order a copy call 01424 422815

School ensembles representatives from each school with Molly Townson, Ken Roberts (adjudicator) and Lions Clubs representatives. Photo by Mary Frasers Photography. To order a copy call 01424 422815

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Hastings Musical Festival’s second week saw scores of talented performers showcasing their skills.

Young pianists from eight countries played Beethoven concertos in the Sussex Hall at the White Rock Theatre.

Festival chairman, Molly Townson, said: “Isabelle Ho, aged seven, achieved 96 marks for her piano playing, almost certainly the highest mark known in the history of the Hastings Musical Festival. And 13-year-old Guangqian Yang won the Bronze Medal for Piano with 90 marks, also winning her age-group class with 89 marks.”

In Keyboards, Scott Nightingale was awarded 90 marks for his performance of

Molly added: “Adjudicator, Christopher Stanbury, said that he had never heard this music played as an arrangement for keyboard before and praised Scott’s inspirational performance. Scott had already delighted the audiences in the Priory Meadow Piano event at the beginning of this year’s festival.”

Buckswood School’s Swing Band performance achieved 88 marks, with its violins, guitars, cello, marimbas, singers, featuring a table of glasses of coloured water played to great musical effect.

Molly said: “This year’s very busy Dance Section began on Monday with an exciting evening of duets, trios and quartets, highest mark going to Sarah Freeman and Jessica Sutton, who won the Molly Vidler Cup for their classical duet with 86 marks.”

In the Primary Schools Ensemble, a wonderful morning of music-making by six primary school groups was won by St Mary Magdalen School for its very musical performance featuring drums, guitars and voices.

Well-known conductor and composer Kenneth Roberts who adjudicated the event, praised all the schools for the high standard, and the festival for its nurturing of very young musicians in this way.

The class is sponsored yearly by the Lions Clubs, of Hastings, and of Rye and Battle. The chairman of the festival presented each group with a cheque from the Foster Trust to use in the enjoyment of their music-making.