After celebrating the successful completion of our 2020 festival, we went straight into lockdown, and the chances of our 2021 festival taking place looked very slim.
Forest School confirmed that they would be unable to host us in 2021 due to difficulties in social distancing and more half term activities than usual.
Another problem was that we had lost several key members of the committee and were worried how we would be able to run a festival. Following an appeal, we were lucky to recruit some very able volunteers – we welcome and thank them for joining us.
The committee members were determined that the Stratford & East London Music Festival would take place in 2021 and so plans were made to hold a virtual festival with competitors sending in videos of their entries.
All our convenors and committee members were involved but the bulk of the work was carried out by Hilary Rothera and Lorna Redburn, who devised a new system whereby the competitors could submit their recordings. It was no mean feat. We owe them many thanks.
Our adjudicators were on board and prepared to work in a different way, and so we ran a festival.
From a survey held afterwards, people were very happy with what we achieved.
Although we could not include all classes, we were still able to hold many of the important ones.
We congratulate all the winners.
The Felix Marr Award was won by Edward Leung.
Caitlin Liew and Alex Lockyer won the Millennium classes and, for the fourth time in the last five years, Gabrielle Bavetta won the Concerto class.
The Young Musicians’ competition was held as usual and was won by Gabrielle Bavetta. She is an extremely talented musician and we congratulate her and wish her a successful future.
As to the future of the Stratford & East London Music Festival… Having begun in 1882, we are determined it will continue into the future and we look forward to seeing you all again at this year’s festival which will be held as usual at Forest School and St Mary’s Church.
Thank you all.