Festival Enters Second Decade, Welcomes 1,400

The Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts ushered in its second decade with a 10-day programme of jazz, poetry, acoustic, choral and orchestral music, and more.

On the opening weekend, over a hundred singers came from all over the region to perform the 21st-century choral classic The Armed Man, by recently knighted Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins.

The following weekdays were dominated by a succession of competitions, with Ellie Holland (St Mary & St Paul’s Primary School) and Grace Houghton (Our Lady’s Primary School) scooping prizes at the Schools’ Poetry Showcase on Monday night.

On Tuesday, Dave Loftus was announced winner of the 2015 Short Story Competition for a whimsical tale entitled ‘Opal and Jasper,’ an effort that earned him a £100 cheque.

Then, on Wednesday evening, pianist Zak Gowing (Y4, Evelyn Community Primary School), electric guitarist Samm Balderstone (Y9, Halewood Academy) and drummer Paul King (Y10, St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning) were officially declared ‘Young Instrumentalists of Prescot.’

As the closing weekend arrived, The Chilled Lemons Jazz Quartet played a sell-out gig at the recently refurbished Prescot Town Hall, and 2012 world brass champions Foden’s Band made the 17th-century parish church literally vibrate to such well-loved works as the William Tell Overture and Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Proceedings culminated on Sunday evening with a flag-filled, Proms-style finale, featuring South Liverpool Orchestra, trumpet soloist Hannah Mackenzie and organist Tim Hall.

“We founded the Prescot Festival in 2005, at a time when new arts festivals typically failed to last beyond the first three years,” said Artistic Director Dr Robert Howard.

“So we are incredibly proud that with the support of great audiences, generous sponsors, talented performers and an army of passionate volunteers, we’ve been able to keep this annual event alive into a second decade.”

The festival has already announced it will be back for a 12th time, from 17 to 26 June 2016. Audiences can keep up-to-date with this and other year-round arts and music events at www.prescotfestival.co.uk.

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