Outstanding performances from talented youngsters

As Hastings International Musical Festival entered its third week it was announced that there were record entries for the Dancing Section with talented youngsters travelling long distances to compete.

Now in its 109th year, Hastings International Musical Festival (HIMF) goes from strength to strength. With the Festival Finale taking place at the Whiterock Theatre this Saturday, HIMF Chairman, Molly Townson says this year has been the best ever. “There were record entries in the nine day Dancing Section with entries from as far afield as Southend and Cambridgeshire,” she said. “First places with 90 marks were awarded to Amy Pickup (Lyrical) Jessica Sutton (Modern) and Sasha Hussein (Lyrical).

“Glendale Arts were awarded no less than four first places in group dancing and a 91, the highest mark so far this year, for their Song and Dance Group!”

Molly says highlights of the week included last Friday’s celebration of choral singing with 35 choirs taking part and the adjudicator’s praise for the high standard across all classes, adding: “The Instrumental section showed a very good standard of playing generally and a 90 for Isabelle Nettle for her viola solo.”

Singing Adjudicator Brian Husband awarded 90’s to Daniel Savage for his Show Song, and to ‘Phoebe Driver, Isobelle Goldup, Michael Willard and Sam Hickman’ for their Show Song Ensemble.

After two busy days of Classical Singing Brian asked: “What is it about Hastings that it produces so many good singers?”

Molly says there were outstanding performance from Karen Macinally in Lieder and French Song, and Lin Westcott in Oratorio and Opera gained them 90’s, whilst Lin Westcott’s operatic duet from Handel’s ‘Coronation of Poppea’ with Cindy Gillham gained them the record 91 marks.

The Festival Final on Saturday (March 18) at 7pm, begins with a presentation of special trophies by celebrated Jazz Singer Liane Carroll.

At the end of the show Prizes of £200 will be won by the Audience Favourite Solo performance and by the Audience Favourite Other Act. Applause will be measured by the festival clapometer.

Molly added: “So book your tickets and applaud as loudly as you can for your favourites!”

Festival Finale tickets cost £5, concessions £4, under 10’s free and can be purchased from the Whiterock Theatre Box Office in person, or call 01424 462288 or visit: https://whiterocktheatre.org.uk