ARTS FES­TI­VAL MARKS 40 YEARS

An­other suc­cess­ful year for pop­u­lar arts con­test

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

THIS year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of Che­sham Arts Fes­ti­val, a com­pet­i­tive cel­e­bra­tion of dance, speech, drama and mu­sic held over a two week pe­riod at var­i­ous venues in Che­sham.

Over the years, the fes­ti­val has gained a rep­u­ta­tion for its well or­gan­ised, friendly, wel­com­ing and sup­port­ive at­mos­phere, high qual­ity, spe­cial­ist and well in­formed ad­ju­di­ca­tors in all dis­ci­plines, and, for the ex­cel­lence of all who take part and com­pete in the many and var­ied classes avail­able to the youngest and old­est par­tic­i­pants.

From four year olds through to ma­ture adults (age un­spec­i­fied), the qual­ity of what they do has at times been de­scribed as ‘breath­tak­ing.’

This year was no ex­cep­tion and the high num­ber of en­tries re­sulted in ex­tra ses­sions, and an ad­di­tional ad­ju­di­ca­tor, hav­ing to be held in the speech and mu­sic ses­sions.

Roger Smith from Che­sham Arts Fes­ti­val said: “In th­ese times of arts dis­ci­plines hav­ing to fight for sur­vival, it is a huge credit to all con­cerned with the fes­ti­val that there are grow­ing num­bers tak­ing part de­spite the dif­fi­cul­ties they may en­counter on the way.”

The fes­ti­val’s gen­eral sec­re­tary, Gwen Wood­stock, has been at the helm through­out the 40 years of its ex­is­tence and she was de­lighted this year that there were so many new com­ers tak­ing part.

She said: “I feel very proud to be part of such a won­der­ful fes­ti­val which I’ve seen grow tremen­dously over the last 40 years.

“The first mu­sic fes­ti­val was held at the White Hill Cen­tre in 1976 with a to­tal of 80 en­tries. Speech and dance sec­tions came later. In­ter­est­ingly some of those ear­lier com­peti­tors are now en­ter­ing their own pupils.

“We now have over 1,000 peo­ple tak­ing part each year. Long may it con­tinue.”

The fi­nal con­cert, which in­cluded pre­sen­ta­tions of tro­phies and bur­saries in the speech and mu­sic dis­ci­plines, took place on Sun­day (Fe­bru­ary 21) in front of a large and en­thu­si­as­tic au­di­ence at The El­giva, in Che­sham.

The au­di­ence was treated to a var­ied pro­gramme per­formed by soloists, small en­sem­bles and two choirs.

Pre­sen­ta­tions were made by Che­sham’s mayor Peter Hud­son, who said that he was ‘amazed at the range of tal­ent from Che­sham and the sur­round­ing ar­eas.’

Ad­di­tional bur­saries were awarded by the Chess Val­ley Male Voice Choir, which has sup­ported the fes­ti­val for many years and who pro­vide a plat­form at their con­certs for the re­cip­i­ents of the bur­saries.

Also pro­vid­ing bur­saries were Che­sham Ro­tary, who, along with Amer­sham Ro­tary nom­i­nate and sup­port some tro­phy win­ners in their In­ter­na­tional Young Mu­si­cians com­pe­ti­tion.

As the fes­ti­val en­ters its 41st year, the or­gan­is­ers are keen to con­tinue to wel­come more en­trants and they are look­ing for­ward to an­other suc­cess­ful year in 2017.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.che­sham arts­fes­ti­val.org.uk.

Fi­nal­ists: Com­peti­tors at this year’s Che­sham Mu­sic Fes­ti­val

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