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Festival hits the high notes

Some 60 musicians made a Bognor Regis festival a record this year.


Performers at the Regis School of Music’s annual celebration ranged in age from three-and-a-half years upwards.


The summer festival ended on Sunday with a concert, exhibition and awards ceremony at the school in Sudley Road.


One of its founders, Sasha Levtov, said: “The festival was our 22nd and the most successful yet.


“We had three professional pianists – one a former student – and competitive and non-competitive events for our students of all ages.


“We added a new piano this year for five and under pianists to add to the existing 25 categories. The youngest participant ever was Cequoia-Glade Cross, pictured on front page.


“The festival is a highlight of our year. It takes months of my time to organise but it is very much worth it.”


The festival began on June 14 with an illustrated talk by Anthony Lindsey about On Leaving Romantics for Impressionalism.


The official launch took place on June 16 with a wine and cheese evening.


World renowned German pianist Valentin Sheidermair performed a recital of works by JS Bach, Schubert, Lizst and Chopin to the delight of the packed 85-strong audience.


Valentin was followed the next weekend by the two outstanding young pianists, former school of music student Maria Luc, now at the Royal Northern College of Music, and Wyn Chan.


They performed some of their programme of Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances and the Rite of Spring by Stravinsky on two pianos and with four hands on one piano.


The same weekend saw two days of competition for under-18 and senior amateur musicians, instrumentalists and singers in various age and ability categories adjudicated by Alison Sutton. A number of non-competitive classes were also held.


The instruments featured included piano, woodwind, cello, brass, guitar and harp.


Last Wednesday saw a performance by the younger musicians illustrated by their own drawings and paintings.


“The pictures were projected on a big screen and they were very impressive. The evening was a great success and it is something we will be staging again during the next year,” said Mr Levtov.


The average audience size for the festival was a healthy 40-50 at each session. The work of the school’s 150-strong Friends in maintaining the building had ensured it was in good shape for the audiences.


Mr Levtov also thanked Bognor Regis Town Council for its £1,700 towards the school’s work. Of this amount, £1,000 was spent on the festival.

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