This year we were able to run a very successful festival. In 2021, the festival was completely online because of Covid restrictions, but this year we were able to return to a live, in-person festival, once again held at St Mary’s Church, South Woodford, and at Forest School, Walthamstow.
All our disciplines went ahead: choirs and bands; speech and drama; solo and ensemble singing; piano and instrumental, which included recorders; and the Concerto classes. We also ran the Confinamento Competition and the Millennium Competitions, and our festival concluded with the wonderful Young Musician of the Year competition.
The winners of the Millennium Competitions were Ore Johnson (10 and under), Sam Allan (14 and under) and Hilary Tsi (17 and under).
The EPTA cup was won by Firoze Madon, the Concerto class winner was Finn Anderson-Hendra and the winner of the Young Musicians' Competition was the singer, Murray Peat.
After the problems and worries of lockdown, we found our numbers were somewhat down this year, but considering the uncertainties, we felt more than happy with this year’s festival.
The festival is run entirely by volunteers and certainly would not run without them. They give unstintingly of their time and effort because they want the festival to continue.
We welcomed Sarah Henderson onto the committee this year as our Cups Secretary and she has done a sterling job giving those spreadsheets a complete overhaul.
Jo Chui has joined the committee in the role of Treasurer, and is currently liaising a take-over of the job from Hilary Rothera.
Cathy Edkins and Jenny Ewington have volunteered to run the singing discipline. We currently have no piano convenor, but fortunately Jo Brown stepped in to do that job for us.
The Stratford & East London Music Festival was founded in 1882 and we are proud to be keeping this venerable and worthwhile festival going. We are already planning our 2023 festival and look forward to seeing friends old and new there.
Stella Redburn & Maureen Westcott