Saved festival sets out to showcase musical talent

The Gorleston St.Andrews 45th Competitive Festival last year. Charlotte Joyce and Scott Ribbons sing

The Gorleston St.Andrews 45th Competitive Festival last year. Charlotte Joyce and Scott Ribbons singing Use Somebody by the Kings of Leon. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Preparations are well underway for a festival which last year looked to be on the brink of extinction.

In 2015, the Gorleston St Andrews Festival was scheduled to be the last in its 45-year history - unless new members could be found.

But thanks to appeals in the Yarmouth Mercury and from the retiring committee, a full new committee was formed, and who have prepared this year’s 46th rendition of the festival.

The festival will be under a new streamlined format, reduced to just a week, running from March 7 to 13.

It will include some brand new classes, and will take place at the Magdalen Way

Methodist Church, in Gorleston.

Entries are available via post, or as last year, submitted using the entry form available on the website, or by downloading the entry form and emailing it back to them.

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Due to refurbishment taking place at St Andrew’s Church Chapter House, there will be limited entries at the Magdalen Way Methodist Church facility, meaning a first-come, first served approach will be adopted.

Chairperson of the committee, Clare Winter, said: “The festival is an opportunity for entrants of all ages and abilities to perform in front of an audience and to receive feedback on their performance designed to help them improve.

“Some classes compete for the award of a trophy, but all entrants will receive an embossed certificate and handwritten comments from a professional adjudicator.

“ The adjudicators for the Festival this year are mainly from the British and International Federation of Festivals.

“The syllabus is available online at gorlestonfestival.org. We are trying to save paper this year to cut down on expense but if anyone needs a paper copy please email us at info@gorlestonfestival.org.”

As part of this year’s syllabus, includes; piano and electronic keyboard, woodwind, guitar, choir and vocal, strings, brass, orchestras and ensembles, and drama and speech.

Payment may be made by on-line banking/direct transfer or be posted to the co-ordinator to arrive within a week of entry submission.

Entries will not be officially processed until payment is received.

The festival was created by Gorleston vicar, Rev Tony Clemens and founder member Harold Taylor, who together set up a celebration which would take place around St Andrew’s Day - traditionally November 30.

The first festival, was nearly the last when heavy snow led to the cancellation of some events.

Despite the weather conditions, the concept was said to capture local people’s imaginations and a number signed up to be patrons.

To avoid cancellations in 1970, the date was brought forward and the festival was relocated to the church’s newly built octagonal Chapter House.

The Festival is a registered charity run by a voluntary committee and has been affiliated with the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech.