Joyful festival of excellence draws to a close

The 109th Hastings International Musical Festival has been described as a '˜joyful festival of excellence' by its Chairman Molly Townson.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 1:12 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:12 am
Hastings Musical Festival disc 4. Photos by Mary Fraser's Photography. To order a copy tel 01424 422815 SUS-170321-091617001

The three week event, staged at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings saw record entries with a spectacular 4,964 talented children and adults from dancing and drama schools performing their very best to impress the adjudicators. Molly says the judges had some tough decisions to make. “There were eleven professional adjudicators who gave advice and encouragement throughout 336 Classes across the disciplines,” she said. “We enjoyed every minute of 2017 festival in its glorious variety of performance, from our youngest dancers to our most senior singers, from our littlest pianists to the six young international pianists playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, from our Folkfest to our Rockfest.”

She added: “Forty volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the three weeks so make the festival the success that it was. “It really was a joyful festival of excellence.

Throughout the festival there were Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals awarded in all sections and £1600 given in cash prizes. The Executive Committee of the festival also awards grants annually to applicants from the Hastings International Musical Festival (HIMF) who are going on to colleges and conservatoires.

The festival finale, held last Saturday (March 18), commenced with a presentation of special trophies by celebrated jazz singer Liane Carroll. Molly said: “It was a really super evening on Saturday a fitting climax to a wonderful festival!”

HIMF is one of the biggest and most prestigious in the country, a member festival of the International Federation of Festivals of Music, Drama and Dance, of which her Majesty the Queen is Patron.

A registered charity, the festival’s two main focuses are the providing of excellent performance opportunities for all ages with adjudication of specialists in their field, and also the awarding annually of grants to young performers as they continue into further studies in college/conservatoire in their chosen discipline, whilst its International Piano Concerto Competition brings young pianists from around the world.

In a statement in the festival’s programme, HIMF President Petula Clark, CBE said: “The wonderful Hastings International Musical Festival comes but once a year and it is quite simply unmissable!

“Where else can you hear such a varied program, performed by the very best.

“All this by the glorious seaside sounds perfect to me.”