Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Harrogate International Sunday Series

We are very happy here in our blog to help to publicise the Sunday Series concerts mounted by the Harrogate International Festival as we feel they are complimentary to what we do at the Competitive Festival. It is entirely possible that one of our performers may go on to appear in a future Sunday Series concert!

Now approaching its 24th year, the Harrogate International Sunday Series presents the world’s brightest talents in classical chamber music, with performances taking place on Sunday mornings during the Spring.  Set in the Victorian splendour of the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, audiences can enjoy exceptional music and beautiful surroundings here in the heart of Yorkshire.  Previous musicians at the Sunday Series have included pianist Freddy Kempf, violinist Nicola Benedetti and the award winning Brodsky Quartet.
In 2017 Harrogate will be joined by Festival favourites pianist Martin Roscoe & clarinettist Julian Bliss, as well as welcoming violinist Fancesca Dego & the amazing Heath Quartet to the Festival for the first time.  The series will close in April with multi-award winning pianist Alessandro Taverna who presents an all-Chopin programme.
Harrogate International Festivals look forward to welcoming you to the 2017 Harrogate International Sunday Series in the beautiful surroundings of the Old Swan Hotel.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ripon Cathedral Concert 10th October at 7;30pm: The Sacconi String Quartet & Robert Plane

The Ripon Cathedral Concert Society generously donated free tickets to one of the Cathedral concerts in the 2016-2017 season to all the Finalists in this year's Young Musician of the Festival Competition, so it is entirely appropriate here to give details of the first one, to be held on 10th October at 7:30pm.

The Sacconi String Quartet along with renowned clarinettist Robert Plane will perform the following programme:

Mozart;         String Quartet in D K499 Hofmeister
York Bowen;  Phantasy Quartet for bass clarinet and strings
Brahms:        Clarinet Quintet Op 115

Concert-goers may recall that, after their performance in 2014, particularly of Beethoven's Op 132 Quartet, reviewer Tim Robinson wrote, "At the end of the third movement there was a silence so profound, so intense, so visceral, that few in the chancel of Ripon Cathedral will forget it. Time stood still."
    This is the launch concert of a series of six in the new season. The Cathedral Concert Society's website (http://www.riponconcerts.co.uk) has details of where to obtain tickets for this event and information on how to become a Member which gives access to all six concerts. If you have never previously been to a concert in Ripon Cathedral I would urge you to give it a go. It is a really brilliant venue.


    Friday, 9 September 2016

    The syllabus for 2017 has been published

    After several weeks of frantic activity, the syllabus for 2017 has been printed and is on the website here... http://www.hcfmsd.co.uk/Syllabus.html.

    The online entry system is now open.  Access is here... http://hcfmsd.co.uk/Entry.html

    If you used the system before, you still have your userid as the email address you used before, and to which we sent you notifications.

    You've possibly forgotten the password, but there is a reset button for that.

    All the entrants you put in last year will still be there, with their ages increased automatically, so you should be good to go.

    Any questions on the syllabus content can be addressed to the Festival Secretary, Linda Wilson, and she will either answer you or find someone who can.


    Monday, 22 August 2016

    2017 Syllabus on track for publishing mid September

    The team of 19 organisers consisting of the Festival Committee, the Section Secretaries and a few other good readers are now all working through draft FIVE of the 2017 syllabus, looking for errors and inconsistencies.

    The team are on track for publishing a final version on the HCFMSD.CO.UK website in mid September and getting printed versions available before the end of September.

    We have changed a few classes, deleted some, combined some, split others, and added new classes - including two Ukulele group classes, so please pay attention when you read the new syllabus.

    Watch this space and twitter @HCFMSD for further updates.


    Tuesday, 14 June 2016

    The 2017 Annual General Meeting: Treasurer and Chairman's Reports

    Our Secretary, Linda Wilson, chaired this year's AGM in the absence of Paul Dutton who is recuperating after a serious illness. We send him all our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

    Linda started by thanking all volunteers, sponsors, patrons, accompanists, scribes, stewards, teachers, the Trophy Secretary, performers and the organising committee, without all of whom we would not have a festival. She then thanked the Walker Galleries for stepping in to receive trophies prior to the Festival this year. We need to find a new venue for trophy returns next year.

    No grant was received in 2015/2016 from Harrogate District Council although we did receive one in 2014. We have been invited to apply this year so, fingers crossed.

    Linda thanked Harrogate Ladies' College (in particular the Principal, Sylvia Brett, her colleague Chris Briscoe and all the other College staff) for their support over the last eight years. They decided after this year's event that it was no longer consistent with an ever increasing number of College weekend activities and their increased safeguarding and child protection responsibilities, so we have been looking for a new home. We hope to make an announcement about that soon.

    Linda mentioned the Music For Fun special needs event which went ahead during this year's Festival. She said that we hope to develop this further to enable people with a wide range of disabilities to perform and to gain confidence by being part of the Festival.

    Linda ended her report by repeating her thanks to all the volunteers who make the Festival possible.

    Prior to hearing the Chairman's Report we heard the report from our Treasurer, Mike Greenberg. It is sufficient to say here that the Festival is in a relatively strong financial position moving forward.

    Work will shortly commence on next year's Syllabus, which will be available in September.


    Monday, 21 March 2016

    The 2016 Festival

    Well the 2016 Festival is over now and all the volunteers will be wondering how to fill their time. Next year's plans have been interrupted somewhat by the surprise decision of Harrogate Ladies' College not to continue hosting the Festival. The large number of visitors, (over 3000 in the three Festival weekends), coming on to the College estate is becoming inconsistent with it being a functioning boarding school and, also, the College has other things it would like to do with its own space. All good things come to an end and the Festival has been very happy at the College since 2008. We would like to thank its staff and pupils for their help over that time.

    Since it was founded in 1936 the Festival has been mounted at a number of different Harrogate venues (I performed in it over 50 years ago on the stage of the Royal Hall - terrifying!!) and we are confident that this will be a minor hiccough in our 80 years of existence. Work is afoot to find a new home for 2017 and beyond. The adjudicators are currently booked for the three weekends commencing on 3 March, so fingers crossed. If you think you can help please contact us via the website http://www.hcfmsd.co.uk

    Here is the full list of winners. The Festival has always been a competitive one, so every class has a winner but really every performer is a winner, just for getting up and doing it, so well done everyone and "Thank you" to all the volunteers, without whom the Festival could not take place.

    First weekend

    Acted Scene Age 15 & under: Katy Metheringham and Luke Morland, Knaresborough; 16 & over: Sam Daltry and William Jackson, Knaresborough; Group Drama Age 15 & under: KSSD Wednesday Intermediates 2, Knaresborough; 19 & under: KSSD Masterclass, Knaresborough; Solo Acting Age 12 & 13: Emily Belcher, Knaresborough; 14 & 15: Katy Metheringham, Knaresborough; 16 & over: Kitty Watson, Knaresborough; Solo Acting - Shakespeare Age 15 & under: Helena Baker, Harrogate; 16 & over: Kitty Watson, Knaresborough; Concerto Class Year 13 & under: Emily Watson-Breeze, York; Chamber Class Year 10 & under: Dragon Woodwind Sextet, Harrogate; Open: perfect 5th, Leeds; Entertainment Class Age 13 to 15: Vicky Graham, Knaresborough; 16 & over: Lucy Ireland, Knaresborough; Lever Harp Elementary Grades 1-3: Laura Edmonds, Stokesley; Lever Harp Grades 4 - 5: Connor McMurray, Stokesley; Pedal Harp Grades 4-5: Tilly Poskitt, Cottingham; Pedal Harp Advanced Grade 6 & over: Megan Humphries, Nr. Ripon; Harp Duet Open: Hannah Higson and Cerys Rees, Cottingham; Harp Ensemble Open: The Soundboards, Cottingham; Musical Theatre Age 15 & under: ACTAcademy UK, Harrogate; 16 & over: KSSD Saturday Seniors, Knaresborough; 4 & under: Krish Desha-Beerachee, Harrogate; 5 & under: Robert Kidd, Harrogate; 6 & under: Robert Kidd, Harrogate; 7 & under: Eleanor Kidd, Harrogate; 8 & under: Thomas Went, Harrogate; 9 & under: Yuan Xu, Harrogate; 10 & under: Yuan Xu, Harrogate; 13 & under: Yuan Xu, Harrogate; Open to include Diploma Holders: Jean  Wildman, Shipley; Open: Ho Ching Ng, York; Bach Prelude & Fugue Class Open: Jean  Wildman, Shipley; Chopin Class Open: Philip Howarth, Harrogate; Twentieth Century Class Open: Tom Knowles, Harrogate; Piano Duet Year 6 & under: Eleanor Kidd and Robert Kidd, Harrogate; 9 & under: Hannah Shimwell and Millie Harris, Harrogate; 13 & under: Selina Pollard and Erica Markee, Harrogate; Piano Trio Year 6 & under: Holly Bletcher, Tara Dikmen, Sophie McHugh, Harrogate; Pipe Organ Year 11 & under: Joshua Taylor, Harrogate; 13 & under: Daniel Taylor, Harrogate; Grade 3 or 4: Annabel Baxter, Harrogate; Grade 5 or 6: Annabel Baxter, Harrogate; Grade 7 or 8: Grace Caton, Harrogate; Recorder Duet Year 6 & under: Jessica Townsend and Beth Harrison, Harrogate; Recorder Group Year 6 & under: The Bell School of Music Recorder Group, Harrogate; Prepared Reading Age 12 & 13: Thomas Wood, Knaresborough; 14 & 15: Charlotte Barnard, Knaresborough; 16 & over: Rebekah Rochester, Knaresborough; A Talk on any subject: 11 & over: Zara Fawcett, Harrogate; String Solo Grades 1 & 2: Sophia Rueschemeyer, York; Grade 3: Puyuan Ge, Thirsk; Grades 4 & 5: Ava Brule-Walker, Thirsk; Grade 6: Sophie Priestley, Harrogate; Grades 7 & 8: William  Clark, York; String Duet, Trio or Quartet Year 10 & under: Lilly Ho and Isabella Watson, York; Open: Selby Music Centre String Quartet, York; String Group Year 10 & Under: HLC String Ensemble, Harrogate; Open: HLC String Ensemble, Harrogate; Bach Class Open: Benedict Baily, Thirsk; Strings Novice Class Open: Neil Dixon, York; String Solo Open: Maria Marshall, York; Novice Ukulele Class: William Smith-McShee, Harrogate; Classical Guitar Year 6 & under: Tej Singh, Leeds; 9 & under: Milan Singh, Leeds; Open: Felix Collins, Durham; Verse Speaking Age 12 & 13: Thomas Wood, Knaresborough; 14 & 15: Vicky Graham, Knaresborough; 16 & over: Gemma Felton, Nosterfield; Sonnet Class Age 13 to 15: Katherine Hooper, Knaresborough; 16 & over: Gemma Felton, Nosterfield; Group Speaking Age 14 & under: ACTAcademy UK, Harrogate; The Elizabeth Hopkins Trophy Virtuoso Class: Cordelia Newbery, Harrogate; Flute Solo: Grade 1 or 2: Amelie Coyle, Harrogate; Grade 3 or 4: Lexi Powell, Harrogate; Grade 5 or 6: Evie Collard, Harrogate; Grade 7 or 8: Lily Scott, Wetherby; Oboe or Bassoon Solo: Grade 7 or 8: Robbie Messenger, York; Clarinet Solo: Grade 1 or 2: Eleanor Kidd, Harrogate; Grade 3 or 4: Olivia Simpson, Harrogate; Grade 5 or 6: Olivia Robinson, York; Grade 7 or 8: Emily Watson-Breeze, York; Saxophone Solo E flat and B flat Grade 1 or 2: Evie Collard, Harrogate; Saxophone Solo Eb and Bb Grade 3 or 4: Anona Raphael, Harrogate; Grade 5 or 6: Grace Malone, Harrogate; Saxophone Solo Grade 7 or 8: Stephanie Frankland, York; Repertoire Class Year 9 and under: Emma  Moore, Harrogate; Woodwind Solo Open: Stephanie Frankland, York; Christopher Richmond Trophy: Olivia Robinson, York; Ernest Hopper Trophy: Emily Watson-Breeze, York; Woodwind Duet, Trio or Quartet Year 6 & under: Amelie Coyle and Elizabeth Bromiley, Harrogate;10 & under: Tewit Clarinet Trio, Harrogate; Year 13 & under: Dragon Quadrasax, Harrogate; Woodwind Group Year 10 & under: Dragon Woodwind Sextet, Harrogate; 13 & under: Tutti Fluti, Harrogate;

    Second weekend

    Solo Acting Age 11 & under: Hattie Attwood, Knaresborough; Group Drama Age 11 & under: Highfield HLC Prep 5, Harrogate; Devised Drama Age 12 & over: ACTAcademy UK, Harrogate; Acted Scene Age: 11 & under: Hattie Attwood, Cecily Ruddy and Flossie Attwood, Knaresborough; 11 & under-2: Molly Metheringham and Scarlett Watson, Knaresborough; 13 & under: Harriet Swift and Tamsin Ker, Harrogate; Vocal Duet: Year 6 & under: Sophie McHugh and Eva Scullion, Harrogate; 9 & under: Harriet Rae and Claudia Rae, Harrogate; 11 & under: Anastasia Sheveleva and Tamara Demirchyan, York; Solo singing Musical Theatre: Year 5: Ava Bounds, Collingham; 6: Flossie Attwood, Wetherby; Solo from a Show, Film or Musical: Year 7: Tilly Ducker, Harrogate; 8: Oscar Gray, Harrogate; 9: Phoebe Kyriakopoulos, Harrogate; 10: Frankie Bounds, Collingham; Solo from a Show, Film or Musical: Year 11: Megan Walker, Harrogate; 12 & over: Alice Wright, Harrogate; Vocal Duet or Trio from a Show, Film or Musical Year 11 & under: Penny Alcock and Katie Alcock, Harrogate; 11 & over: Kitty Watson, Sally Hall and Alice Wright, Harrogate; Musical Theatre: Age 7 & under: Theatrebox Infants, Harrogate; 10 & under: Theatrebox Juniors, Harrogate; 12 & under: KSSD Saturday Junior/Intermediate, Knaresborough; Show Choir Open: KSSD Show Choir, Knaresborough; Olde Tyme Music Hall Song: Kitty Watson, Harrogate; Prepared Reading: Age 9 & under: Sofia Snowball, Knaresborough; 10 & 11: Ellie Kidd, Knaresborough; Speech & Drama Championship Class: Kitty Watson, Knaresborough; Solo Singing Boys & Girls: Year 3 & under: Beatrice Haddow, Harrogate; 4: Madeleine North, Huddersfield; 5: Ava Bounds, Collingham; 6: Flossie Attwood, Wetherby; 6 & under: Cian Corbett, Harrogate; 7: Gabriella Whiteley, Harrogate; 8 & 9 - Grades 3-5: Megan Mead, Harrogate; 7, 8 & 9 - Grades 2-5: Oscar Gray, Harrogate; Northern Choristers' Championship Girls & Boys unchanged voices - Year 11 & under: Lauren Windsor, Wetherby; Folk Song Unaccompanied: Year 5 & under: Ava Bounds, Collingham; 6: Caroline Freeman, Harrogate; 7: Tom Wallace, Harrogate; 8 or 9: Isabelle Graham, Collingham; 10 & over: Samantha Brockett, Harrogate; Verse Speaking 7-1: Georgina Laycock, Harrogate; 7-2: Annabel Wass, Knaresborough; 8: Iris Johnson, Knaresborough; 8-2: Alexa Burrell, Harrogate; 9: Hannah McHugh, Harrogate; 9-2: Henry Titchmarsh, Leeds; 10: Ellie Kidd, Knaresborough; 10-2: Flossie Attwood, Knaresborough; 11: Thomas Jackson, Knaresborough; Group Speaking: Age 8 & under: Highfield HLC Prep 3, Harrogate; 10 & under: Brackenfield School Year 6, Harrogate; 19 & under: KSSD Saturday Seniors, Knaresborough;

    Third weekend
    Verse speaking age 6: Hugo Andrews, Leeds; Brass Solo Year 7 & under: Henrietta Kirkby, York; 10 & under: Ben Pritchard, Bradford; 13 & under: Edward Freeman, Harrogate; Novice Choir Year 2 & under: Brackenfield Year 2 Choir, Harrogate; 6 & under: The Mount School Junior Choir, York; Choir Year 4 & under: Highfield HLC Middle Choir, Harrogate; Choir from smaller schools, roll not to exceed 120: Moorlands School Choir, Leeds; 6 & under: Wakefield Girls' High School Under 11 Choir, Wakefield; 9 & under: Musicality, Ripon; Chamber Choir  Open: Rock Up and Sing! Events Choir, Harrogate; Year 13 & under: Blue Blazer Choir, Newcastle Upon Tyne; Church Music - SATB Choir Open: Friday Voices, Burton on Trent; Open - Female, Male & Mixed over 16 members: Lindley Community Choir, Huddersfield; Choral Challenge Class Open: Friday Voices, Burton on Trent; Barbershop Open: Main Street Sound, York; Vocal Duet Year 12 & over: Christopher Davies and Helen Thomas, York; Youth/School Orchestra Year 6 & under: Highfield HLC Orchestra, Harrogate; Percussion Year 13 & under: Izzy Barrington, Knaresborough; Drum Kit Year 8 & under: Jack Littlewood, Leeds; 13 & under: Jack Littlewood, Leeds; Solo Singing Girls - Year 10 & 11 - Grades 4-6: Alexa Wilkinson, Collingham; Girls 13 & under: Niamh Robinson-Wakefield, Knaresborough; Boys Changed Voices -13 & under: Tom  Jansen, Harrogate; Young Musician Singer Competition Year 13 & under: Niamh Robinson-Wakefield, Knaresborough; Silver Rose Bowl Competition Open: Jonathan Smith, Rugby; Recital Class Over Year 13: Jonathan Smith, Rugby; Operatic Aria Open: Christopher Davies, York; Oratorio Class Open: Gracie Caton, Harrogate; British Composer Class Open: Gracie Caton, Harrogate; Lieder Class Open: Jonathan Smith, Rugby;


    Monday, 29 February 2016

    2016 - Weekend One

    Well the first weekend of the 80th consecutive Harrogate Competitive Festival for Music, Speech and Drama is over. After all the planning and organising, from this volunteer's standpoint, it went well.

    There were over 100 classes between the Friday and Sunday evenings, covering everything from woodwind, piano and string solos, through verse speaking, prepared reading and acting, to the Year 13 and Under Concerto Class, the new Virtuoso Class and the Thomas Trophy for strings. There was an afternoon and evening of excellent harp music, the performers of which bring their own roadies! Lots of very young children performed, most of them apparently without any nerves and we may have seen some stars of the future. The young woodwind performers at the first Chapel session were particularly good, producing sounds out of all proportion to their stature - very impressive.

    The six adjudicators on duty this weekend certainly had their work cut out and they did a fabulous job, often having to decide between a number of equally excellent performances. The adjudications were generally well balanced, informative, encouraging and friendly and performers will learn a lot by taking the adjudicators' advice on board. They were all novices once!!

    This year we had the new Virtuoso Class, for the Elizabeth Hopkins Trophy. Performers had to use two different instruments from different disciplines, both to a high level of difficulty (at least grade 8 for the first and grade 6 for the second). We saw Alexander Abrahams singing and playing the piano; Olivia Robinson on piano and accordion (a very rare treat; it is instantly foot tapping!!); Grace Caton on recorder and singing and, the eventual winner, Cordelia Newbery on the flute and singing.

    This was an excellent class but we could have done with a larger entry and audience, the latter generally being a reflection of the former. More friends and family please!

    Finally, in the penultimate class on Sunday evening, Maria Marshall repeated her 2015 success by winning the Thomas Trophy, this year with a spell-binding performance of the 1st movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto.  This brought tears to at least one volunteer's eyes and made all the hard work even more worthwhile. Maria will now go through to the Final of the Young Musician of the Festival Competition, to be held in the Final Concert on 13th March.

    Thanks are due to all performers, their teachers and families, to the adjudicators and all the volunteers and to those who assist us at Harrogate Ladies College. The caravan rolls on to next week now. See you at 6pm on Friday 4th March.

    Follow us on Twitter #HCFMSD and at www.hcfmsd.co.uk


    Thursday, 25 February 2016

    The Big Day Approaches!!

    Over 50 volunteers attended the annual pre-Festival coffee morning at Harrogate Ladies’ College last Saturday to receive a briefing from the Chairman, Paul Dutton, the Festival Secretary Linda Wilson ,both starring below and the mastermind behind the volunteer rota, Maureen Greenberg, prior to the commencement of the 2016 Festival at the College on the evening of Friday 26th February. It will then run for three successive weekends, culminating on 13th March with the grand Final Concert featuring the final of the Young Musician of the Festival Competition.

    The Festival is entirely planned, organised and run by volunteers. With 193 individual classes, divided into just under 50 separate class events, the Festival will need over 200 volunteering sessions by over 70 volunteers to mount and run those. They will manage 12 different adjudicators who will spend a total of 209 hours judging performances by 2692 performers in up to 5 different rooms over three weekends.  In each room there will be four volunteers, two managing the schedule, one assisting the adjudicator and one looking after the door to ensure that performers are not disturbed. In addition to this massive effort there will be a team of eight on almost permanent duty, producing certificates for every performer. Another very important group of volunteers are those people who man the doors, braving the cold and selling tickets and programmes. Last year at least 3,000 people attended at least a part of the Festival and they all came past the door team.
    Five Official Piano Accompanists will be on duty for the whole Festival. They will have learned 121 pieces in preparation for their role.

    Every single performance is to be praised. Some of the younger performers are nearly as tall as their instruments and some of the loudest voices come from the smallest performers. Every performance is a highlight. A new addition this year will be the Virtuoso Class for the Elizabeth Hopkins Trophy, to be held on the first Sunday evening. Performers well have to play two different instruments from different disciplines, the first at grade 8 or above and the second at grade 6 or above.

    The printed version of the Programme is now available to buy at Music House on Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate. 

    Tickets will be available on the door. Further information can be found on the Festival website at www.hcfmsd.co.uk 

    and follow us on Twitter at News@HCFMSD

    Thursday, 4 February 2016

    The 2016 Programme

    The printed version of the 2016 Programme is now available at Music House, 18 Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate, price £2.00.

    This contains full details of the almost 200 classes to be held at this year's Festival, which will be held at Harrogate Ladies' College on Clarence Drive over three weekends; February 26th to 28th; March 4th to 6th and 12th to 13th (no classes on Friday 11th March).

    Every class at the Festival is worth watching because they all represent the culmination of an enormous amount of preparation work, combined with real ability and the courage to get up and perform in front of an audience, but there are some undoubted highlights.

    The Non-competitive Year 3 and under Piano Solo class will be held on the first Saturday morning and that evening will see both the Ernest Hopper Trophy Competition for woodwind instruments (with the winner potentially going through into the Young Musician competition) and the Concerto Class (Year 13 & Under), where the winner may be offered an engagement with the Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra if the instrumentation is appropriate and the performance is considered to be of a suitable standard.

    The new Elizabeth Hopkins Trophy (Virtuoso Class), (2 different instruments/disciplines at least at Grades 8 & 6 standard respectively) will be held on the first Sunday evening.

    Over forty 7 year olds will perform in the Verse Speaking class on the second Saturday afternoon, while that evening will see the ever popular Olde Tyme Music Hall Song class - costumes and props encouraged!!

    The final Saturday will see the Young Musician Singer Competition in the Chapel, an excellent venue for that class and on the last Sunday morning the College's Sports Hall will host a number of choir classes. This is always a really well attended session, from both the performers' and the audience perspective.

    The Festival will culminate in the Final Concert to be held on Sunday 13th March at 7:30 pm in the Assembly Hall at the College. This will also feature the Young Musician of the Festival Competition in which the leading performers on the Piano, Strings/Guitar/Harp, Woodwind (including Recorder), Brass, Percussion and Singing will each perform an “Own choice” programme of 8 minutes duration before a special jury of adjudicators whose decision will be announced at the end.

    The concert will also include a cross-section of outstanding performances heard during the competition. Each finalist in the Young Musician of the Festival Competition will receive free tickets for themselves and their families to attend a concert given by the Ripon Cathedral Concert Society.

    So there will be lots to enjoy. See if you can find our posters scattered throughout the town and don't forget to check us out on Twitter #HCFMSD

    Sunday, 17 January 2016

    Counting down to the 2016 Festival

    All entries in - one or two more checks to run.  

    The process now well under way to layout the schedule.  The team are working hard.  We are on draft 2 already.  Only a couple more iterations to run before we can publish.  Hold your hats on.
    If you are excited join in the twitter using #HCFMSD

    Friday, 15 January 2016

    An Event Not To Miss

    Our 2015 Concerto Class winner, Maria Marshall, will be performing Elgar's Cello Concerto with the Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra, on Saturday 13th February, at St Mark's Church on Leeds Road, Harrogate.

    The concert starts at 19:30 with Elgar's attractive Dream Children suite and ends with Brahms' magnificent 2nd Symphony.

    Tickets cost £10 and will be available at the door and on-line at  
    http://www.harrogatephilharmonicorchestra.org.uk/tickets.htm and from Castlegate Books, Knaresborough and P & C (Pomp and Circumstance) on Skipton Road, Harrogate. Please telephone 01423 545188 if further information is required.


    Tuesday, 12 January 2016

    The current state of play

    Entries for this year's Festival finally closed on 10 January and, as in previous years, there was a last-minute rush. With over 1,000 entries, slightly more than half of which are in the various music classes, we should see over 3,000 people "on the stage" over the course of the three Festival weekends. There will be over 120 hours of adjudication. The final programme is now being devised.

    Our new Virtuoso Class, for the Elizabeth Hopkins Trophy, in which performers must play two different pieces each one on a different instrument from different disciplines, has attracted a good entry. This is a really exciting addition to the Festival programme.

    The classes for choirs of all ages and numbers have attracted a large entry this year.  It is a real opportunity for people to perform with their friends and fellow pupils and is a constant (usually large) audience pleaser, so it is excellent to see it being so popular.

    On the Speech front, Verse Speaking appears to be very popular this year, especially with our younger performers, so let's hope they are all assiduously practising now! The Reading classes are also well subscribed and, as a "practitioner", I am especially looking forward to the talk on Vegetarianism to be given by one performer!

    Finally there will be no short of Drama  at this year's Festival, with several of the acting classes looking very popular.

                                         AND THERE WILL BE UKULELES!!!!

    Monday, 4 January 2016

    Coming up to the Entry Closing Date

    The closing date for paper entries was last Saturday. Just 6 more days to the on-line entry closing date (10th January).

    The volunteers are winding up their computers and polishing their printers, ready to process the entries and work out how they can possibly create a Program schedule to fit them all in over those three glorious weekends, starting on 26th February.

    We currently have just over 150 entries and we are expecting at least another 1400, so, many more to come. Don't miss out; get your entry in today by going to our dedicated on-line system.

    It is very good to see that, so far, we have competitors from far and wide, including Rugby, Durham, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Not quite international yet, but we are getting there!!