Hinton Festival 2014
3rd - 8th June

For a while it looked as though the weather for the 8th Hinton St George Festival
would be a washout but in the event, we were very lucky and although the evenings were cool, it was always fine enough to have the interval drinks in the churchyard as usual. Fortunately, the music inside the church was as heart-warming as ever!

This year, the Festival reverted to its usual week and
opened on Tuesday 3rd June with a great rousing concert from the Brass
Volcanoes, a London-based all-brass group which played a wide variety of music
which all fell under the loose heading of "Jazz". It was a storming
evening and the trumpet playing was of an extraordinarily high level and the
sight of leader Graham Hughes' sousaphone bobbing up and down in the background
was unforgettable. We hope they will be back some day.

Wednesday saw the 4th Hinton St George Young Musician of the Year competition.
In a break with tradition, the evening opened with a virtuoso flute solo from
Minnie Atherton, a former pupil of Hinton First School.

This was followed by a lovely performance of songs by a talented group of girls
from Maiden Beech School, led by Barbara Dale, one the Festival's great supporters.
The competition itself then followed and as usual, the audience was enraptured
by the wealth of talent from our locality and also the variety of instruments played.
Judging in both categories was extremely difficult but in the end the winner of the
14 and Under category was 13-year-old Tom McCaig from Cotleigh, near Honiton,
playing the alto-saxophone.

In the Open competition, the winner and Festival Young Musician
of the Year was violinist Barnaby Fox who gave a particularly sensitive
rendition of Dvorak's Allegro Moderato. This was a triumph for persistence as local
boy Barnaby and his younger brother Oscar have supported every YM competition
since it started in 2008. 

During the judging for the competition, we welcomed back to
the Festival the 2012 Young Musician of the Year Lily Blows, who charmed us
with a medley of her own arranging. In an interview after her recital, Lily
told us that winning the competition had given her great confidence and after a
summer playing in the townships of South Africa funded by a bursary,
she was going to study music in Manchester. The committee was thrilled that
the YM competition had inspired her to make a career in music, a wonderful reward
for the organisers. As always, thanks are due to the Hinton St. George Reading
Room Trust for providing the prizes.

In 2012 we had an unforgettable evening with Caroline Dale
and Paul Turner on Thursday evening. This year the talented flautist Sarah
Bennington returned to the Hinton stage, partnered by harpist Fontane Liang,
both graduates of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. We thought the
combination of flute and harp would sound lovely in the church and we were not
disappointed - "like moonlight on water", as somebody said!

Old favourites returned on Friday with a performance by ever-popular
local ensemble Teasing the Cat, who filled the church with their enthusiastic
following. How does one describe them? They are amazingly multi-talented,
picking up and putting down different instruments from trumpet to bagpipes,
from violin to hurdy-gurdy and all steps in between and playing an equally
eclectic selection of old English and folk music.


The final Saturday concert started late on Friday evening
when a harpsichord arrived and was carefully moved into the church - the first
time we have had a harpsichord at the Festival. Fiori Musicali is the largest
group of musicians ever to have played at the Festival and we were a little
anxious as to how they would all fit on to the stage.  We needn't have worried; the close
proximity of the players and the wonderful acoustic of the church made for a perfect
concert and a large audience enjoyed the subtleties of the playing, all on

ancient instruments - all in all, probably the best example of string music we have ever heard at the Festival, most ably directed by Penelope Rapson from the
harpsichord. Even the weather played its part with late evening sunlight
streaming into the church - a fitting climax to the 2014 Festival.

After the Festival there was a changing of the guard, with Chairman Les Farris,
Treasurer David Clements and YM Competition organiser Jane Jackson
all stepping down from their roles. The show will go on though; watch
this website for details of concerts in 2015 and the 9th Festival in 2016. 


Festival 2014 sponsors

Hinton Fundraisers | W Coombes & Sons (Contractors) | Fender Guitars | Classic Canes | Hinton St George Reading Room Trust | Wessex Water | Stokes Partnership | Mitchams Chartered Accountants | Yarcombe Woodland Products | Lefktro  |  Woodland And Garden Tree Services | Symonds and Sampson |  Sibleys Builders |  Footprintz  |  Branston Limited  |  Wessex Water

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