A Message from our President, Petula Clark CBE
Welcome all to the Festival !!!
Once again, we can expect some magical musical moments, and all here by the sparkling sea in Hastings!
What could be lovelier!
I will do my very best to be there with you ! If I can’t , my love will be there – as always.
Enjoy this wonderful and unique gathering of international and ‘home-grown’ talent, and thank you for your support.
Love Petula x
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Chairman’s Welcome 2016
Welcome to the 2016 Festival… a Festival which began 109 years ago, one of the oldest competitive Festivals in the country, and is still going strong. This year’s Festival is full of innovation:
A new event will be our Folkfest, with all our existing Folk Song classes plus new Folk Classes for Groups. We are excited that Shirley Collins, “the Queen of English Folk Song” is coming to judge this new event. Shirley grew up in Hastings and sang with her school choir in the Festival. Since those days her career as a folk singer has taken her all over the world, and won her an MBE for services to music, and Presidency of the Cecil Sharp Folk Dance and Song Society. This is a Saturday afternoon/evening event on 12th March, and we look forward to a wonderful celebration of Folk Music.
A new Trophy and Prize money will go to the first” Hastings Young Musican of the Year”. This Championship Class for young instrumentalists will take place in the Main Hall on the evening of Wednesday 16th March alongside our new Singing Gold Medal Class. Our full Singing Programme during the Festival will include the ever popular Show Songs and Pop Vocals.
We have had lots of interest in Rockfest this year, and look forward to a great evening with lots of young bands to entertain us and plenty of audience to enjoy their music. Then there’s our usual full programme of classes in Speech and Drama, and Dancing with a wonderful weekend of Dancing Groups, whilst our School Choirs Day and Primary Schools Music-Making Morning will as ever be popular events. The Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition will climax this year in two nights of Finals with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on the 4th/5th March.
And lastly to our Festival Finale on Saturday 19th March which promises to be very different. We are going to make the Presentation of Special Trophies slicker, so that performance time is maximised. There will be more winning Groups taking part, and most excitingly we shall be inviting you, the Audience, to vote for your favourite Solo Act and your favourite Group Act. So lots of Fun…and a Trophy and Cash Prize for the winners on the night. Book your tickets for the Festival Finale at a bargain price this year of £5…with Under Tens going free.
See you there !
Annual General Meeting, September 2015
Help with the Festival
If you would like to help out with the Festival, please complete the Recruitment Form. You will need to provide contact details for 2 referees. Volunteers should also read the Child Protection Policy here.
If you are already registered as a helper and are available to help with the 2016 Festival, please complete and return the Helpers' Reply Form, which can be downloaded here.
Chairman's Report 2015 - 2016
Our hard working Section Secretaries continue in their roles, with our thanks going to Julie Dengate for a successful five years of service as Dancing Secretary, and a welcome to Vicki Milford as she moves back from her work as Safeguarding Officer to run the Dancing Section again. This leaves us needing a new Safeguarding Officer, and anyone interested in the role should please contact our General Secretary.
We now have a new General Secretary in David Hooper who is taking to the role with confidence and enthusiasm. Whilst welcoming David, we thank Heather Spence for her excellent year in the role, and look forward to her continued support. We also welcome Eric Connor who has taken on the responsibility of meeting the IT needs of a Festival as big as ours. We have to thank Brenda Bailey for her loyal and demanding work as Treasurer, and we welcome Neil Curtis as he joins the team of volunteers in this all important role.The 110th year of the Hastings Musical Festival has brought many changes, and with several new personnel on board the Festival continues to develop and flourish.
Because of an anonymous donation from a loyal supporter of many years we have been able to keep fees for 2016 from any significant increase, and even to reduce many across the disciplines.
Exciting innovations for 2016 will include a Saturday Folk Fest with special guest Shirley Collins MBE, as our adjudicator. Shirley is known to many as "the Queen of English folk singing". As well as our popular solo folk song classes, we are adding classes for folk groups including instrumentalists and singers. We are also introducing to our young classical instrumentalists the opportunity to become Hastings Young Musician of the Year, and we have re-shaped our Gold Medal Singing class in the hope of attracting new entrants. There are new classes in all sections including new groups for Contemporary Dance.
We are also hoping to expand our Rock Fest as it grows in popularity, and this year our Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition will climax in two evenings of Finals with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Last but not least, we plan to re-invent our Final Festival Concert in the hope that it might once more enjoy the sort of audience that used to attend this prestigious event when our Special Trophies are presented and we celebrate the very best of our annual Festival.
The thanks of the Executive Committee go to all our Officers, to all our volunteers, and to all our Members. If you have not attended the Annual General Meeting before, please consider joining us this year, so that we can take into account the views of our members.
Chairman, Hastings Musical Festival