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Chairman’s Introduction

WELCOME TO OUR 90th FESTIVAL

I am delighted to continue to serve again as Chairman of this prestigious and very important annual event. We enjoyed a highly successful Festival last year and anticipate another packed programme of classes and events in the next one.

We will continue to celebrate different aspects of the Performing Arts through speech and drama, singing and music which will be brought to us by the many performers all of whom, together with their teachers, work hard to bring their unique performances to us during the Festival. 

It is more important than ever before that we continue to strive to support performers of all ages and abilities by giving them exciting opportunities to develop their skills and perform with confidence to very appreciative audiences. More adult participation would be especially welcome.

Our very active volunteer committee, coordinators and stewards are determined to develop well-tested old, and new innovations to support the broad objectives of the Festival thereby enhancing its prestige in the wider community. Two outreach 2016 events at Sidholme, Sidmouth and Blundell’s School, Tiverton were very successful and we hope next year to be able to continue to offer more. A Piano Masterclass at Sidmouth Parish Church during the afternoon of Friday 12 May with an internationally acclaimed pianist is already in the calendar.

The on-going challenges we face both financially and logistically are substantial, so any further help from other sources would be very gratefully received. Please contact any committee member or myself if you can help us in any way. We will be making a very special effort to contact schools and colleges as well as individual teachers. Please let us know if you can add names to our existing date base of contacts or help with publicity and/or stewarding.

Our combination of using two venues last year proved a little difficult and we are grateful to both venues for their flexibility and cooperation. This year we hope to improve matters by making some small changes to our programme so that we will have a block of three days at United Reformed Church, with the rest of the events being at South Street Baptist Church. We hope this will be clearer for our participants and make organisation simpler. The Gala Concert will also take place at United Reformed Church. Please check on the website for details as well as more information about the Festival. A printed syllabus is available on request.

Our exciting 2017 Festival commences on 20th February, culminating in a special Gala Concert at Southernhay United Reformed Church, Exeter on Sunday 12th. March at 3 p.m.

I sincerely look forward to seeing many of you at one or more events and hope that you will thoroughly enjoy the 2017 Festival.

Roger Hendy