2014 Festival

Festival Secretary’s Report

Maureen Westcott

Once again we had a successful festival.

As it was our second year at Forest School, we had a much better idea of how to deal with problems which occurred last year.

With the help of the school bursar and Glynis, we were able to improve the method of entry to the festival, rooms, food, etc.

We were also able to condense our time at the school to six days instead of the eight previously by holding three, and at one stage four, competitions at the same time. This was a great bonus!

As well as allowing organisers and the school to spend less time, it meant we did not have to find volunteer helpers for eight days although we could do with more on the days when the festival is running.

Entry was through the school entrance and all adults were given a wristband to prove they were either helpers or they had paid entry fees. There were one or two who still bypassed the entrance and therefore did not pay but we hopefully know how to address this for next time.

We were able to provide food for organisers, adjudicators and helpers through the school, and the catering manager provided an adequate menu. We hope to repeat this next year.

The building works had been completed so there was less disturbance.

One great bonus was the help provided by Waitrose. Through an ex-pupil of Glynis, we contacted the person in charge of community matters at Waitrose in Buckhurst Hill and she provided one, usually two, helpers each morning. They were extremely pleasant and willing to help in any way we required.

Holding our Young Musician of the Year evening on the Saturday instead of the Sunday meant we were unable to have the Mayors of Redbridge and Waltham Forest, as it clashed with the Lord Mayor’s dinner. However the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge came along, together with the President of the Snaresbrook and Wanstead Roatary Club and we had a very successful evening.

The benefit of having a free Sunday is popular with the committee and the school.

The standard of the Young Musicians was extremely high.

The ultimate winner was Daniel Swani (a recorder player), closely followed by Isabella Fleming on the violin.

Other outstanding winners were:

  • Rachel Fok (the Felix Marr Award)
  • Gopal Kambo (the EPTA UK Cup)
  • Michael Leach (pianist – the Concert Class Award)
  • Rachel Watson (the Felix Marr Memorial Cup)
  • Rebecca Briggs (The Lila Grisley Award)
  • Fiona Kennedy (the Dacia Stevens award)
  • Sharlenee Kanagasabai (the Arthur Simkins Cup).

The Committee have worked hard to make a success of our new venue. I wish to mention Angelus Marr who has resigned from the Committee because of work commitments. She took over the job of collating the syllabus as well as producing the programme and running the Young Musicians competition – all this at a time when there was no one else prepared to do the job. We are very grateful to her and wish her well in her career.

Another new venture has been launched by our treasurer, Angela Cass. She and Hilary, with help from other members of the Committee have been instrumental in planning our new website. This was urgently needed. Historically Hilary has spent much of January receiving and sorting all entries – and this is too much to ask of anyone. Hopefully the new website will improve the situation and make it easier for those who wish to enter online.

We have some very dedicated helpers but we do need more. If you can help please contact me, Maureen Westcott, on 01708 731101.