Great start to Hastings Musical Festival

SCORES of talented musicians and soloists descended on the White Rock Theatre this week as this year’s Hastings Musical Festival got underway.

The highlight of the week was the piano concerto preliminaries contest in which 36 pianists from around the world took part.

The three finalists who won a place to play in the piano concerto finals on March 24 were Eugenio Catone, from Italy, Elisa D’Auria, also from Italy and Grace Yeo, from South Korea.

Other categories included woodwind and world music.

On Wednesday, Paul Roberts, former lead singer of rock band The Stranglers, judged the entries in the festival’s rock band classes.

Mr Roberts also judged entrants in the pop vocal categories.

Today (Friday) sees schools across the area taking part in the festival’s choir competition.

Molly Townson, chairman of Hastings Musical Festival, said: “It’s been absolutely superb so far with everyone enjoying the start of this year’s festival.

“It got off to an especially good start because of the incredibly high standard of the piano concerto preliminaries.

“Our world music class was very exciting and Buckwood Pipers, who won, have been invited to play at our Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert on June 2 at the White Rock.”

Upcoming highlights include the street dance competition tomorrow (Saturday) in the main auditorium of the White Rock Theatre, which starts at 10.30am.

There will also be dancing solos and duets next week from Monday (March 12) throughout the day.

On Wednesday and Thursday the show song competition takes place, where entrants sing a number from any musical show or film.

For more details about this year’s festival log onto and see next week’s Observer for more coverage.


March 5, 2012 – Class: 3372 Recorder Beginners. Any Age: 1 Elvita Blinova, 2 Angel Joy.

Class: 3384 Recorder. Age under 11: 1 Emily Kimber, 2 Jayan Jackson, 3 Rebecca Standen, Olivia Cummins.

Class: 3388 Recorder. Age under 12: 1 Natasha Fresson, 2 Elisha Edwards.

Class: 3392 Recorder. Age under 14: 1 Thomas Pickering, 2 Isabel Richardson.

Class: 3400 Recorder. Age 16 and over: 1 Lily Lindon.

Class: 3420 Recorder Bronze Medal - Descant or Treble. Age under 16: 1 Thomas Pickering.

Class: 3424 Recorder Silver Medal - Descant or Treble. Age 16 and over: 1 Isabel Richardson.

Class: 3428 Instrumental Championship Qualifying Class. Any Age: 1 Lily Lindon.

Class: 3464 Elementary Recorder Band. Year 5:

1 Blacklands School, 2 Sacred Heart School.

Class: 3468 Elementary Recorder Band. Year 6: 1 Sacred Heart School.

Class: 3472 Elementary Recorder Band. Year 7 to 8: 1 Claremont Recorders.

Class: 3480 Advanced Recorder Band. Any Age: 1 ESMS Recorder Ensemble.

Class: 3482 Recital (Descant or Treble or combination of both). Any Age: 1 Lily Lindon.

Class: 3488 Woodwind. Age under 14: 1 Jacob Morris, 2 George Woodhead, 3 Thomas Pickering, Daniel Edwards.

Class: 3494 Woodwind. Age 16 and over: 1 Catherine Terry.

Class: 3500 Woodwind Concerto. Any Age: 1Alexandra Heeley.

Class: 3506 Woodwind Silver Medal. Age 16 and over: 1 Catherine Terry.

March 6, 2012 – Class: 3520 Brass Solo Beginners. Age 15 and over: 1 Peter Pang.

Class: 3524 Brass Solo. Age under 15: 1 Julian Moore, 2 Lars Thorkildsen, 3 James Fosbery.

Class: 3536 Brass Duet. Age 13 and under 19: 1 Lily Lindon/Lars Thorkildsen.

Class: 3556 Brass Primary. Any Age: 1 William Sturges.

Class: 3564 Brass Transitional. Any Age: 1 Finn Piper, 2 George Haskell.

Class: 3568 Brass Intermediate. Any Age: 1 Rebe Casselden, Emily Everist; 2 James Ward, 3 Jonas Horton.

Class: 3572 Bronze Medal. Any Age: 1 Oliver Grainge.

Class: 3576 Silver Medal. Any Age: 1 Lily Lindon.

Class: 3588 Brass Ensemble. Age under 13: 1Vinehall Senior Brass, 2 Dulwich Brass, 3 Vinehall Junior Brass.

Class: 3592 Brass Ensemble. Age under 17: 1 Battle Abbey Brass, 2 Buckswood Brass Ensemble.

Class: 3648 Accordion Solo Polka. Any Age: 1 Lawrie Skinner.

Class: 3652 Accordion Solo Musette. Age Over 21: 1 Rita Allcorn, 2 Lawrie Skinner.

Class: 3664 Accordion Silver Medal Solo. Any Age: 1 Keith Marsh.

Class: 3704 Accordion Duet Grade 4 and Above. Age over 20: 1 Rita Allcorn/Lawrie Skinner.

Class: 3708 Accordion Duet Grade 5 and Above. Any Age: 1 Rita Allcorn/Lawrie Skinner.

Class: 3716 Accordion Band. Any Age: 1 The Ad-Libs.

Class: 3880 World Music. Any Age: 1 Buckswood Pipers, 2 Senlac Bells, 3 William Parker Samba Band.