Hinton Festival 2012

It seems amazing that the 7th Hinton St. George Festival has come and gone and the memories of the most glorious week’s weather of the year, together with exceptional music, are fading fast as the rain slashes down outside. The Festival opened on Tuesday 22nd May – 2 weeks earlier than usual, due to the Jubilee celebrations – with our traditional first night jazz concert, this year with Pete Allen and his Band. Pete is the most amazing virtuoso clarinetist who produces sounds from his clarinet that you wouldn’t believe possible and he kept us all very well entertained.

Wednesday saw the 3rd Hinton St. George Young Musician of the Year competition. The evening started with the traditional performance by the children of Hinton First School, following which the 2010 Open Competition winner, Kieran Spurway, came back to remind us of his talent with a great trombone rendition of “Somewhere” from West Side Story. A full report of the competition is elsewhere on this website, but suffice to say that fine performances by Eleanor Roda and Lily Blows won them the titles of Young Musician of the Year in the 14 and under and Open categories respectively. During the judging of the competition, we were treated to an improvisation led by Charles Hazlewood, who had been working during the afternoon with many of the competition finalists, Hinton First School performers and other competitors, to produce a unique event which involved the whole audience as well as the musicians. We are indeed fortunate to have him as our Artistic Consultant.

Thursday saw another first for the Festival with a beautiful and moving cello recital given by Caroline Dale, accompanied by Paul Turner on the piano. Although attendance was low, those who came enjoyed a great performance of the music of Cesar Franck, Frank Bridge and Antonio Vivaldi. Caroline is a former finalist of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and her subsequent success has been no surprise, her lyrical playing resembling that of Jacqueline du Pre, whose playing part she took in the film “Hilary and Jackie” .

Our usual Friday change of mood saw a visit by the 3 Daft Monkeys, a group whose music is best described as Cornish Folk meets Rumanian Gypsy! The group were not used to performing in a church, but after a quiet first half the Church really rocked with people dancing in the aisles to Athene’s wild fiddle music and Tim’s 12-string guitar playing.

Saturday arrived with a great sense of anticipation. All day the set-building went on as the Church was transformed into Violetta’s home for the performance of Verdi’s great masterpiece, La Traviata.

We knew from the rehearsals that it would be good; guests were welcomed with a glass of Prosecco and Garden Opera gave us a truly magical evening, with Claire Surman giving an assured performance as Violetta and Peter Bridges leading the chamber orchestra and conducting the whole proceedings with great mastery. With the glorious evening sunshine, the interval was a buzz of excitement and the general view was that it was a triumph.

Musically this was perhaps the best Festival ever.

With many thanks to our sponsors, Yarcombe Woodland Products, Wessex Water, The Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton Fundraisers, Mitchams Chartered Accountants, Stokes Partnership, Isle Valley Veterinary Group, Branston, Footprintz, Fender Guitars, Classic Canes, Woodland and Garden Tree Services, Lefktro and Bonners the Butchers




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