Press release: Arts festival draws on local talent of all ages

Arts Festival Draws on Local Talent of All Ages

The Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts, now in its 12th year, continues its long tradition of showcasing talented writers, singers, artists and musicians of all ages from the local community.

Evelyn Community Primary School once again hosts the Young Instrumentalist of Prescot competition (Wednesday 22 June), inviting primary and secondary students to compete for the Reverend David Rose Trophy, named for the much-loved Prescot clergyman and businessman, who passed away in 2013.

Children from across the region will recite their own verse and that of others at St Mary & St Paul’s Primary’s Schools’ Poetry Showcase (Monday 20 June).

And for those youngsters who are more at home with a brush or pencil in hand, a festival-long exhibition at Prescot Parish Church will display a stunning range of artwork from local schools.

There’s still time for people to get involved. Do sing you a soprano, alto, tenor or bass? The Prescot Festival Chorus invites choral singers to join it for a performance of Mozart’s renowned Requiem, conducted by James Luxton of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (Saturday 18 June). This annual ‘Come & Sing’ event has attracted over 100 singers in past years.

The festival is also eagerly standing by for entries from budding authors in its Short Story Competition. Entrants are being asked to write tales of up to 1,000 words inspired by the theme ‘in a pickle’—a turn of phrase first recorded in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

And finally, if being in the limelight isn’t your style, there are lots of opportunities to volunteer behind the scenes as a ‘Friend of the Festival.’

“Hearing the chatter and seeing the smiling faces after a concert is a fantastic feeling,” said long-time volunteer Dyane Basinger.

“There’s such pride in knowing you’ve been part of making it happen.”

As former librarian of Cowley International College in St Helens, now-retired Dyane takes particular pleasure in seeing the amount of young people involved.

“It’s inspiring to discover all this talent is right on your doorstep,” she said.

As well as local performers and artists, the festival features acts from further afield. Other highlights of the 2016 programme include a Swingshift Big Band, Nigel Ogden of BBC Radio 2’s The Organist Entertains, and Songs from the Shows with BOST, the Birkenhead-based theatre company whose annual productions at the Liverpool Empire have included The Full Monty and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Artistic Director Dr Robert Howard said: “While so many festivals decline after just three or four years, the quality of talent and support of the local community has ensured the Prescot Festival is growing year on year after more than a decade.

“As ever, this year we aim to include everyone in the community, whether on stage, behind the scenes or cheering on in the audience.”

The 12th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts runs from Friday 17 to Sunday 26 June 2016. The full programme, as well as more information on how you can get involved, is online at, and tickets are on sale from 1 May.

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