Three-week festival ends on an enjoyable high note

Silver Lee Stage School, Music Theatre Showcase, Any Age. To order photos contact Mary Fraser's Photography on 01424 422815

Silver Lee Stage School, Music Theatre Showcase, Any Age. To order photos contact Mary Fraser's Photography on 01424 422815

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Organisers of this year’s Hastings Musical Festival have praised entrants’ high standard of performances.

The annual event drew to a close on Saturday (March 21) and festival chairman Molly Townson said audiences were impressed by the quality of participants’ work.

She said: “The enthusiastic response of the audience on Saturday night at the White Rock Theatre was that it was the ‘best festival finale for years’.

“The presentation by the Mayor of Hastings, Bruce Dowling, of the Special Trophies at the finale was followed by some of the very best of this year’s festival.

“The level of applause clearly demonstrated how much the audience was enjoying a colourful and lively concert of performances in dance, drama, instrumental music and singing. Many emails and letters of congratulations have been received.

“The festival was heralded by the third very successful Priory Meadow Piano Event, when pianists of all ages stepped up to play the grand piano provided by Sussex Pianos.

“Music of all sorts was played and enjoyed, including many impromptu performances by passers-by, as the music filled the busy shopping mall.

“At the same time brilliant young pianists were arriving from all over the world to play in the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition which took place over the first week of the festival, climaxing in the final with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. And it was time for our own young pianists, singers, actors and dancers from aged four to take to the stage, some for the first time ever, to perform in the three-week festival.

“Without exception visiting adjudicators praised the high standard of performance and organisation of the festival, one of the most prestigious in the country.

“The very unusual mark of 90 was given on several occasions, and a stunning 96 to five-year-old Isabelle Ho for her piano playing.

“Most popular audience events of the three weeks included as ever the Sunday Group Dancing, the Schools Choirs Day, the Primary Schools Music-Making Morning, the Music Theatre Showcase, and the Rockfest.

“It was a very happy festival enjoyed by all. Now on to the hard work of getting ready for next year.”