Local talent shines at Musical Festival

Hastings Musical Festival 2016. Photo by Mary Fraser's Photography. To order a print call 01424 422815. SUS-160703-130557001

Hastings Musical Festival 2016. Photo by Mary Fraser's Photography. To order a print call 01424 422815. SUS-160703-130557001

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Hastings Musical Festival got off to an exciting start at the White Rock Theatre with two contestants receiving mark in the 90’s.

They were Isobel Richardson, who won the Piano Gold Medal and Harry McNabb for Piano 19 and Over and Piano French Composer.

Hastings Musical Festival Sophie-Louise Dann SUS-160803-103344001

Hastings Musical Festival Sophie-Louise Dann SUS-160803-103344001

Highlights this week included the Primary Schools Ensemble event on Monday, which saw 11 schools taking part and All Saints Primary emerging as winners.

Fifteen year old Katie-Louise Wrenn hit the high notes winning five trophies in the opening two days of the Singing Section.

Festival organiser Molly Townson said: “Adjudicator Julia Dewhurst praised the high standard of all our young singers. Many of them will be singing again in the Folk Fest tomorrow, also in the Show Song classes on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 March, and the Pop Vocals on Thursday March 17.”

The Festival is proud to announce that Guest Presenter of the prizes at this year’s new-look Festival Finale, on Saturday March 19, is

Sophie-Louise Dann (pictured), who, as a young performer, won many prizes in the Festival.

Since then Sophie’s extensive career has encompassed opera, musical theatre, film and TV.

Sophie is a regular guest artiste on Friday Night is Music Night and her one-woman show From Classic to Coward to Current has been performed in London, New York and LA.

Sophie’s many West End credits include Made in Dagenham, Lend me a Tenor The Musical, for which she won an Olivier Award Nomination for Best Supporting Role in a Musical, and numerous leading roles for the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. Sophie is currently appearing in Bend it Like Beckham at the Phoenix Theatre.

The Festival Finale will begin at 7pm, and will feature audience participation.

Prizes of £200 each will be awarded to Audience Favourite Solo Performance and Audience Favourite Other Act.

Molly Townson said: “With tickets priced at £5, and no charge for children under 10 years, this is an evening mot to be missed. Please come along to celebrate this year’s Festival, and give our young performers the audience they deserve.”

Events still to come include Folk Fest, at 2pm on Saturday March 12, in the Sussex Hall; a new category for this year, which will be judged by Hastings born folk legend Shirley Collins. Local folk singers, aged from seven to 70 will be performing.

Saturday also sees a three-session day of Group Dancing in the main hall.

Seventeen choirs will be raising the roof at the ever popular School Choirs Day on Wednesday March 16. Adjudicator for the day will be Kenneth Roberts known to theatre audiences for his excellent South East Opera productions.

Seven local bands will be battling it out in Rock Fest on Friday March 18 with Wesley Stace and Ben Thompson.

To order pictures contact Mary Fraser Photography on 01424 422815.

Picture of Sophie-Loise Dann by Darren Bell.

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