I just wanted to get in touch to talk about the fantastic milestone that the Grantham Music Festival has just reached (that being it’s 50th Anniversary).
In comparision to other European countries (mainly Germany, France and Italy) here in the UK ‘the Arts’ remain under represented, undervalued and (especially in the current economic climate) hugely underfunded.
And so it is through organisations such as the Grantham Music Festival that local musicians of all ages have an invaluable platform to perform, whilst the festival also helps develop young talent a great deal.
I grew up in Grantham as one of these young musicians that performed in the Festival each year. I had the good fortune to go to Central School and then to King’s School, both of which had fantastic (albeit small) music departments with very encouraging teachers at that time, but I can truly say that if it wasn’t for the experiences that I gained through performing at the Grantham Music Festival then chances are that I wouldn’t be a professional musician today.
Last Saturday (17th March) saw the 50th Anniversary Gala Concert held in Christ Church on Finkin Street with the trophy giving/award ceremony preceeding the concert.
I was invited to perform in this concert and I felt honoured to take part (the festival being such a large part of especially my teenage years that I felt I just couldn’t refuse).
Unfortunately the amount of prize/category winners absent from the ceremony was staggering, and considering that this was the 50th anniversary of the festival, it left the organisers feeling somewhat deflated.
This was obviously such a huge shame and completely undeserved. Just think about the amount of effort that they go to each year in putting the festival together.
The concert itself was a lovely affair showcasing some fantastic home-grown professional musicians that performed a diverse programme. It appealed to an extremely wide range of ages and tastes.
It was just a huge shame that the concert didn’t receive the turn-out it deserved.
I can recall these occasions being full to such an extent that people would be standing along the back and to the sides of the Church, and so I am worried that those levels of support and enthusiam for music are lost.
Grantham needs and deserves a thriving music scene. I believe this can happen but only if we all care about music, support local musicians and nurture our young talent as much as possible.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for your time.
I strongly feel it would be a huge shame if participation and attendance at the Grantham Music Festival declined, so I do hope the Grantham Journal will continue to support the festival in any way possible, to guarantee its future.
Professor of Saxophone
London College of Music