Musicians of all ages have until Friday 15 January to apply for a place at the 107th Swindon Music Festival to be held in March.
The festival has seen some incredibly talented musicians grace it’s classes through the years, including jazz pianist Jamie Cullum, Diana Dors and West End star Sarah Covey.
The Swindon Music Festival was founded in 1909. A one-night choir festival at the Mechanics Institute became the basis for the Swindon Music Festival and has been held annually ever since.
The contest was the idea of R G Cripps who became mayor of Swindon in 1938. After attending an eisteddfod he decided to organise one in Swindon for which there were six entries.
The following year the Swindon and District Free Church Council Eisteddfod was founded, this time extending to two days of competitions with 46 entries including vocal and instrumental soloists as well as choirs. By the mid 1920s the eisteddfod lasted a whole week and attracted more than 400 entries.
In 1938 Diana Fluck – later to become actress Diana Dors – competed in a recitation class for girls aged 7 to 10 years old. Records also show that in 1988 and 1989 a certain Jamie Cullum (the young jazz celebrity) competed in the under 9 piano solo and piano duet classes.
The object of the Swindon Music Festival is to advance the education of the public in the Arts, and in particular the Art of Music, in all its forms. The Festival provides a platform for amateur performance combined with an educational element from professional musicians.
The festival is always looking for backers and supporters including any local businesses or individuals.
The classes on offer during this years festival will include sessions for choirs, vocal soloists, duets and groups, church organ recitals, keyboards, brass, woodwind, guitar, strings and piano, with the syllabus for all instruments available from Swindon Arts Centre, Holmes Music on Faringdon Road and Brian Taylor Music in Royal Wootton Bassett.
For further details, visit www.swindonmusicfestival.co.uk or call 01793 823849