Oswestry Youth Music Festival returns this month and the organisers are delighted that the festival is going to be bigger than ever. Now in its 47th year, the festival has received a record 525 entries, involving approximately one thousand young musicians from forty schools across North Wales and Shropshire. To accommodate the higher entry numbers, the festival has added an extra evening.

The festival runs from Tuesday 27th February to Saturday 2nd March, followed by the final’s concert on Sunday 3rd March at 2pm at Christ Church. There are eighty-eight competitive classes ranging from solo instrumental and vocal classes to orchestras, rock bands, choirs, and musical theatre ensembles.

Sue Turner, the festival’s chief organiser comments. “We have introduced five new classes this year for singers aged thirteen and under and we are delighted that five kind donors have given new trophies for these classes. The trophies are called the Hancock, Grove, Brennan, Philbin and Young Popstar Awards and we look forward to presenting them for the first time.”

The full programme is almost ready and will shortly be published on Oswestry Town Council’s website. A paper copy can be purchased for £1 at the Guildhall or at any of the venues during the festival – Christ Church, Methodist Church, and Hermon Chapel. Admission to all the events is free. For the first time there are Youth Music Festival tote bags for sale, which can be purchased for £5 at all venues (cash only).

The festival’s adjudicators are registered with the British and International Federation of Festivals, and the team are delighted to welcome back Steven Roberts, Daniel Chandler, and Andrew Padmore and extend a warm welcome to Fiona McClean-Buechel. The final’s concert will be adjudicated by Rhys Matthews, another old friend of the festival.

Sue adds, “It is wonderful to see the rise in entries every year, and to enjoy the wonderful musical talent that is out there. We love seeing young performers returning, growing in ability and confidence, and hearing that a significant number go on to study music at universities and conservatoires and then take it up as a career.”

“The festival could not run so smoothly without the help of our fantastic volunteers who carry out the valuable jobs of stewarding, announcing, and clerking. We are also very grateful to Oswestry Town Council for their continued support. If anyone would like to join us as a volunteer, please call Oswestry Town Council on 01691 680222 to register your interest.”

For further information on the festival, visit Oswestry Town Council’s website and follow the Youth Music Festival’s Facebook page.