A Message from the Chairman as we launch the 2017 Festival
The 111th Hastings Musical Festival continues to be a most exciting year, bringing lots of innovation, perhaps epitomised in our re-branding as Hastings International Musical Festival. This year’s Festival itself was a particularly happy time, culminating in a very successful Final Concert in its new format.
The joy of our Festival is, as we are all proud to own, the community feel of the hundreds of young, and older, performers who take part year after year, whether it be in Dancing, Singing, Instrumental Music, or Speech & Drama. The range of that performance continues to grow with new Junior Instrumental Concerto classes planned for 2017, and a new Jazzfest, which will be judged by the celebrated jazz musician, and Hastings own, Lianne Carroll. An integral part of our Festival is of course the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which began in a small way in 2005, and has blossomed into a Competition that is recognised all over the world. In March 2017 we shall welcome The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra itself to play for our two night Final.
This year Ann Hohenkerk is joining our Section Secretaries, to further develop our Rockfest, our brand new Jazzfest, and to be the administrator of the new Junior Instrumental Concerto Competition. Ann will bring a wealth of musical experience as she steps up to run these events.
We appreciate the conscientious work of Wendy Hamed who we welcomed to the position of Child Safegarding at our last Annual General Meeting, and as ever we owe a debt of thanks to all our hard-working secretaries, officers, members of committees, and last but not least our army of Festival volunteers.
Sadly we have accepted the resignation of Bernard Simon from our Executive Committee, following his illness. Bernard’s was always a voice of reason in our committee discussions, and he was a Platform Steward and willing volunteer for many years. We wish him a steady recovery back to good health.
I should also like to remember with gratitude all the help and support we received over the years from John Bailey who recently passed away.
This year we have been very fortunate to receive a very generous donation which helps us to continue to keep our fees as low as possible for the third year running. After discussion over several years, we have also felt able to enlist the help of a professional in our marketing, believing this to be money well spent for the further promotion and recognition of our Festival.
If you have not yet seen the new Syllabus for 2017, they are available now. Get you entries in as soon as you can please, to help us to get the 2017 Programme out as soon as we can.
Let’s make our 111th Festival the best ever
Molly Townson, Chairman.
Hastings International Musical Festival
The printed 2017 Syllabus for the Hastings International Musical Festival is now available at the usual outlets:
- The White Rock Theatre, Hastings
- Hastings Information Centre
- B&T Music, Hastings
- Second Spin, Bexhill
- Chandler Pianos, Rye
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
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 2017 Festival, please complete and return the Helpers' Reply Form, which can be downloaded here
A Message from our President, Petula Clark CBE
Welcome to Sussex by the sea!
The wonderful Hastings International Musical Festival comes but once a year, and is quite simply unmissable!
Where else can you hear such a varied program, performed by the very best.
All of this by the glorious seaside sounds perfect to me!
Thank you for supporting this special event - just by being here.