Two years ago in a letter to this column Nathan Hassall, Professor of Saxophone at the London College of Music, expressed the sentiment: “I hope the Grantham Music Festival goes on forever”.
Nathan, who had often performed in the festival as a youngster, had been one of several festival ‘alumni’ who, now professional musicians, had returned to celebrate the festival’s 50th year in a special concert.
Nathan’s comment reflected a perception at the time that the festival was in danger of decline and even discontinuation.
It is, therefore, a great pleasure to report that the 2014 festival, which culminated in the trophy winners presentations and concert on Saturday evening, showed that reports of the festival’s demise were somewhat premature.
Again, an abundance of musical talent was on display and, particularly encouraging, we saw some superb performances from musicians still only of primary school age.
Support from primary schools for the festival was amply and pictorially demonstrated in last week’s edition of this newspaper and this, as well as new opportunities that will help bring financial security, bodes well for entries and the festival’s overall survival for many years to come.
The festival is not only about the very young, however, and many older school-age students and adults showed what they were capable of as well.
There are many past performers in the town who seem to have dropped out from participating in the festival. We would love to see you come back and contribute to recreating a real sense of occasion.
Information about this year’s results, details about next year’s festival (and, in due course, a possible concert in the autumn!) can be found on our website www.granthammusicfestival.co.uk
Finally, on behalf of the organising committee, I would like to express thanks to all the performers as well as the teachers, parents and others who give musical encouragement.
I would also like to acknowledge the generosity of all those who give us financial backing and those who give up their time over a few days in March each year to provide practical support.
Grantham Music Festival