Music festival continues to hit all the right notes

Gillian Turner awarding the Audrey Stimpson Bursary to Ben Forster
Gillian Turner awarding the Audrey Stimpson Bursary to Ben Forster

HIGH standards and new classes made for another successful Wansbeck Music Festival.

Entry numbers remained strong for the annual competition, which is held at venues across Morpeth and Ashington.

The two-part festival featured classes for all manner of instruments, including new contests for bands and songs from stage musicals or films.

It ended with a concert by prize-winners.

Chairman Eileen Elliott said: “We had more or less the same number of entries as we had last year. The festival is doing well because a lot of music festivals are down on entries and some are even having to cancel for a year.

“We did particularly well for steel bands. We had 12 performing at Chantry School and that class was excellent.

“We thought that the overall standard was better this year, particularly in woodwind.

“Both adjudicators were efficient and very popular and they gave very good advice to people.”

She added: “Morpeth does support us very well and we are grateful to the town council, which gives us a grant and bursary.

“I don’t know whether we could run without its support.”

RESULTS (Local winners)

Woodwind Solo Under 16: Catherine Walker; Woodwind Solo Under 18: Catherine Walker; Woodwind Solo Open: Bridie Bloor; Woodwind Duet Open: Christine Macgregor and Anita Arris. Normanton Barron Memorial Cup: Georgina Woods, Catherine Walker.

School Choirs, Hymn Under 9: St Robert’s RC First School. John Simpson Shield: St Robert’s RC First School.

Steel Bands Under 13: Chantry Steel Band Group 3.

Percussion: Tom Eastland.

Violin Solo Under 11: Millie Robson; Violin Solo Under 13: Matthew Forster.

Vocal Solo Open British Song: Jonathan Roxburgh; Vocal Solo Open Light Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan or Musical: Rebecca Megwa; Vocal Duet Open: Chloe Dodds and Jonathan Roxburgh.

Piano Solo Under 13: Ben Forster; Piano Solo Under 16: Ben Forster; Piano Duet Under 13: Lexie Wilson and Beatrix Barnes; Piano Duet Under 18: Emily Cheung and Rebecca Lawson. Peggy Bell Cup: Ben Forster.

Brass Ensemble Open: Northumbrian Water Ellington Brass Academy; Brass Band Under 13: Northumbrian Water Ellington Brass Academy.

Audrey Stimpson Bursary: Ben Forster. Morpeth Town Council Bursary: Catherine Walker.