2015 Festival

Festival Secretary’s Report

Maureen Westcott

Once again we had a successful festival, although numbers were slightly down.

Our adjudicators were impressed with the high standard of most of our entries and competition was fierce in some classes.

Our Young Musicians’ evening was outstanding. For the first time the winner was an oboist – Miles Bruce-Jones. Until this year, our Young Musician of the Year winners comprised three pianists, three singers, two recorder players, a violinist and a flautist.

We were joined for the evening by the Mayor of Waltham Forest, the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge, the President of the Snaresbrook and Wanstead Rotary Club and Councillor Mrs Joyce Ryan.

Other outstanding winners were:

  • Gopal Kambo – EPTA Cup winner
  • singer Annabelle Pepper who won both the Felix Marr Memorial Cup and the Lila Grisley Award
  • violinist Daniella Mac who won the Concerto class

In the Speech and Drama section Jathari Thirukumaran won the Dacia Stevens Award and the most Oustanding Performer was Corey Mylechreest who won the Forest School Cup (a new cup presented by the Committee in appreciation of the help and support we receive from the school).

The main problem this year was that the council decided to resurface the road leading to the main car park. Unfortunately some cars were booked and a few even taken away. We are sorry but we had no notification that this was planned.

We are grateful to all our helpers although we could do with still more.

Waitrose once again sent some volunteers and we are very grateful to them.

If you are willing to spend a few hours there are various ways in which you could help – please contact Karen Akerman, our Friends’ secretary.

At last we have a system which helps our Entries Secretary. Hilary and Angela have spent many hours discussing what was needed and finally we have a website which can receive online entries and these can then be put into the relevant sections. People who wish to send in a paper entry can still do so but the majority this year used the website. We can say goodbye to the days when each entry had to be entered separately.

If you have not yet done so, have a look at our website – www.stratfordmusicfestival.org.uk. Thank you to both Hilary and Angela.

This year we have lost a valuable member of the Committee. Tina Stockwell resigned due to pressure of work. For some years Tina looked after the cups and it was not until she resigned that we realised just how much work that involves. It is not just putting them in order for competitions but also checking whether they need repairs, buying new ones and – most challenging of all – getting back the cups in time for the next year’s Festival. Her phone bill must have reduced considerably since she resigned. We wish to thank her for all this, as well as helping in other ways, eg taking photos, etc ready to put online.

We also must thank Natalie Michaelides who took over this job at short notice.

Thank you to all members of the Committee and Music Council, to all our helpers, to Forest School, to all our Friends and, most of all, to all our competitors without whom there would be no Festival.