The Festival Concert on Saturday in St. Peter’s Church, Oundle, was a wonderful finale to the successful 2016 Festival of Music and Drama, celebrating the achievements of the young and the slightly more mature participants who competed over the four days.
This year three musicians aged 18 years and under qualified for the Oundle Young Musician of the Year Award: Kira Bhamra, piano; Rob Burton, alto sax; and Nathaniel Watson cello. After a long deliberation by judges Marian Porter, a highly regarded singer and teacher, and Kenneth Richardson, currently Artistic Director of the Oundle International Festival, the alto sax player Rob Burton, a student at Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon, was announced as the winner.
Oundle Town Council sponsor five prizes for Junior Speech and Drama. The winners this year were: Peter Fell, Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough; James Shaw, Wansford; Adam Dodd, Oundle Primary School; Corinne Montemayor, Brigstock Lathams School; and Eden Dickson, Woodnewton Learning Community, Corby. Cllr Val Chesser, Chairman of Oundle Town Council and Caroline, Lady Brassey, Festival President presented awards.
Millie Eve, from Titchmarsh, who won the Shirley Malster award for Oundle Young Singer of the Year the previous evening, was amongst the other selected performers.
“I feel very privileged to have taken part in the Oundle Festival, as it is such a valuable and enjoyable experience,” said Millie.
“I have entered the festival many times and have always noticed the friendly and welcoming environment that exists. The adjudicators always give helpful and constructive advice, especially on how you can improve, and it is always beneficial to hear others perform. This year, the performances from other musicians and singers were of a very high standard and I feel very happy and privileged to have sung alongside them.
“I am overjoyed at winning the Oundle Young Singer of the Year.”
Seventeen choirs from seven primary schools and seven Group Speaking choruses from three Primary schools filled the Great Hall of Oundle School on Friday. Adjudicators Jeffrey Wynn Davies and Tish Nicholl were particularly impressed with the behaviour and atmosphere.
Malcolm Sargent Primary School, Stamford, had a very successful day, winning the Brudenell Picture for the best choral performance, and Kings Cliffe Endowed School won the Mrs S. A. McAdam Cup for Group Speaking..
Choirs and Barbershop Choruses from Northampton to Louth competed in Oundle School Chapel on Saturday. The organising team is delighted to have received such positive feedback from the choirs taking part.
The highest performance mark of the day was awarded to Peterborough Male Voice Choir, whilst the Weekley & Warkton Choral Society Rosebowl for the most artistic performance of the day went to The Songbirds from Kettering.
“What performance will I remember most on the train journey back to Manchester?” was the deciding factor for adjudicator John Pomphrey.
The organising team is now making preparations for the 99th Festival which commences on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017.