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Music festival hits high notes

Penwortham Youth Music Festival Popular Music Class competitors Amy Walker, William Pike, Kayleigh Scott, Emily Mayhews, Lauren Mather, Oscar Lingard, Nina Fahey and Katy Cottrell.

Penwortham Youth Music Festival Popular Music Class competitors Amy Walker, William Pike, Kayleigh Scott, Emily Mayhews, Lauren Mather, Oscar Lingard, Nina Fahey and Katy Cottrell.

SPRING has sprung in Penwortham, where songbirds - of the human kind- are raising the roof.

The annual Penwortham Music Festival is underway at St Leonard’s Church Hall, where people of all ages are competing for a hordes of trophies and accolades.

Now in its 22nd year, the popular festival sponsored by Penwortham Town Council and the Harris Charity will see up to 300 children and young people taking part and representing nearly 40 schools across Lancashire.

Entries are up on previous years in most classes which is very encouraging for the organisers.

Festival director, Philip Walsh said: “Vocal classes are particularly good this year.

“Whether it is down to a certain amount of exposure on television that makes young people want to sing, I am not sure.

“What I am sure about though, is that you never find an unhappy singer and singers tend to live longer.”

Philip added: “ “It is always nice to get new school choirs entering the festival as well as welcoming back those who have supported the festival for many years.”

“This year we have choirs from Balshaws High School, Leyland and Trinity and St. Michael’s Primary at Croston who are taking part for the first time and also Wellfield Business and Enterprise College, Leyland who are entering vocalists by the score.”

There has been a fall in interest in the number of young people entering the brass and woodwind classes.

Mr Walsh puts this down to a combination of the cost of instruments and the fact that there are not as many teachers in these disciplines.

He added: “We do find however that we tend to get lots of entries from only a few teachers. So it is thanks to them that we manage to keep going.” .

In the instrumental classes though, the Penwortham Young Musician of the Year competition has seen entries rise by 50 per cent.

The instrumental class is for young people who have achieved Grade six or above.

Mr Walsh says that there is a wide range of instruments in this class including piano, recorder, flute, violin, clarinet and even the church organ, so it should make for an interesting competition.

Last minute entries will be accepted in some classes. Visit www.pymf.org for more information.

 

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