What a wonderful week we had for the festival - even the sun shone most of the time!
Because it was such a historical event the committee decided to publish a centenary festival booklet. This contains a brief history of the festival by music teacher Pauline Roe, comments submitted by past participants, and numerous photographs taken from the press at the time. Some of these are still available from Cinnamon in Newton Stewart, priced at £5. It makes fascinating reading.
In its 100th year, there were occasions, particularly the war years, when no festival took place but it survived and we celebrate its centenary in 2014.
The first festival in 1914 came about through the efforts of Amy, Countess of Galloway, and brought together choirs from across the areas for what was then a one-day event.
The public transport system at the time included a railway service right across the region, and the train times were printed on the programme. The adjudicator at this first event was Vaughan Williams.
Unfortunately as the first choir walked on, the stage collapsed! Thankfully no-one was injured.
Other famous names have cropped up over the years: Sir Adrian Boult and Cedric Thorpe Davey were adjudicators.
In 1998 the festival might have folded were it not for the commitment of volunteers who formed a committee to run subsequent festivals. Some of those members are still involved today.
This year’s adjudicators were Marilynne Davies, Margaret Tomlinson, Stewart Fyffe, Murray Mclachlan, Walter Cowan and John Cowan. In addition to the usual adjudicating duties, world renowned concert pianist and teacher, Murray Mclachlan was asked to conduct a masterclass. Around 20 local young pianists came together on Saturday to show their skills and receive advice from Murray. Murray also praised the venue, Newton Stewart’s cinema, as a performing space.
The adjudicators mentioned of the quality of teaching in the area, and of the number of entries. Performers were also encouraged to thank the accompanists and appreciate how much hard work goes on.
It is appropriate to mention the commitments of teachers such as Christine Job, Christina Montgomery, Pauline Roe, Rachel Hart and Susan Smyth. As well as their considerable contribution to the accompanying and teaching, four of these five ladies are also hardworking committee members.
The final prize winners’ concert took place on Saturday afternoon. The prizes were awarded by Murray Mclachlan and each recipient had a picture taken with him.
The adjudicators emphasised that all who took part in the festival were winners, whether or not they went home with a trophy. It was a sheer pleasure to sit and soak up the talent from around the area: pupils had travelled from as far afield as Dumfries, Drummore and Ballantrae.
The current committee has 19 members, but there is a huge amount of work to be done. Anyone interested in joining, or becoming a volunteer should contact Anne Hamilton on 01671 402528.
Results were as follows.
Piano Solo Beginner – 1, Wilson Sloan, Wigtownshire Music Association Trophy; 2, Zoe Ramsay and Charlotte Russell; 3, Freya Bathgate, Susannah Service and Naomi Brock.
Piano Solo Grade 1 – 1, Sam Donkin, Kyle Harrison Award; 2, Erin Findlay; 3, Lucy Dovaston.
Piano Solo Grade 2 – 1, Harry Brown, Wigtownshire Music Festival Trophy; 2, Mia gurling; 3, Ellie Stanley.
Piano Solo Grade 3 – 1, Hannah Torbet and Lorna Phillips; 2, Owen Griffiths; 3, Shona Milroy.
Piano Solo Grade 4 – 1, Bethany Donn, Jenny Kerr Memorial trophy; 2, Ailidh McCGonigle; 3, Talitha Williams.
Piano Solo Grade 5 – 1, Emma Robinson, Isabella Norris McLean Trophy; 2, Clodagh Beattie; 3, Rachael Baillie.
Piano Solo Advanced – 1, Charis McWhirter, Wigtownshire Music Festival Trophy.
Piano Duets Beginners – 1, Sophie Hall and Kerri Brown, Scott Trophy; 2, Tally Robinson and Erin Findlay.
Piano Duets Elementary – 1, Mia and Sam Gurling, Wigtownshire Music Festival Trophy; 2, Fiona Ramsay and Shona Milroy; 3, Harry Brown and Daniel Heaney.
Piano Six Hands Elementary – 1, Hannah Torbet, Shona Milroy and Fiona Ramsay.
Violin Solo Beginners – 1, Karolina Szafer, Kirroughtree Cup; 2, Teresa Ho; 3=, Katie Mitchell and Robyn Munro.
Violin Solo Grade 1 – 1, Abbie Ribbens; 2, Leigh Vance; 3, Emily Kay.
Violin Solo Grade 2 – 1, Alasdair Marshall; 2=, Fiona Roddie and Abby Gray.
Violin Solo Grade 3 – 1, Rachel Black, Round Table Trophy; 2, Olivia McKnight; 3=, Maya Robinson and Lydia Taylor.
Violin Solo Grade 6 – 1, Hollie Monteith, Wigtownshire Music Festival Trophy.
Cello Solo Grade 1 – 1, Ellis Stables, David Wood Trophy.
String Duet Primary – 1, Ellis Stables and Abbie Ribbens, Stewart Cup.
Descant Recorder Solos Beginners – 1, Mark Fairclough, Music Shop Trophy; 2, Carla Campbell; 3=, Millie Gray, brogan Boyce, Reece Hughes and Helena Cochrane.
Descant Recorder Solos Grade 1 – 1, Max Williams; 2, Jodie Stewart; 3, James Sharp.
Descant Recorder Solos Grade 2 – 1, Sam Donkin, Wigtownshire Music Festival trophy; 2, Tom Donkin.
Descant Recorder Solos Grade 5 – 1, Daniel Heaney, Butterworth Cup.
Descant Recorder Solos Grade 4 – 1, Bronagh Beattie; 2, Ellie McClymont; 3, Talitha Williams.
Treble Recorder Solos Beginner – 1, Ella Wallace, Cairnsmore Cup; 2, Lucy Gaw; 3=, Charlotte Cleer and Emily Kay.
Tenor Recorder Solos Grade 3 – 1, Talitha Williams.
Recorder Duets Beginners – 1, Mark Fairclough and Reece Hughes, Jim Owen Trophy; 2, Jodie Stewart and Ewan Hampson; 3=, Millie and Abby Gray; Carla Campbell and Ellie Graham, and Max Vance and Robert Smith.
Recorder Duets Primary – 1, Tom and Sam Donkin.
Recorder Duets Senior – 1, Talitha Williams and Bronagh Beattie, Penninghame Cup.
Recorder Groups Unison Junior – 1, Penninghame Primary Recorder Group.
Recorder Groups (2 or more parts) Junior – 1, Whithorn Primary Recorder Group, Burgess Cup; 2, Port William Primary Recorder Group.
Flute Solos Beginners – 1, Vanessa Ho; 2, Shannon Perry.
Flute Solos Grade 1 – 1, Ellie McClymont (Cr).
Flute Solos Grade 3 – 1, Bronagh Beattie (NS), Dalreagle Cup; Charlotte Service (NS).
Flute Solos Grade 4 – 1, Harry Brown, Larg Trophy; 2, Kimberley McAdam; 3, Holly Blakeman.
Flute Solos Grade 5 – 1=, Lorna Phillips and Emma Robinson on Oboe Solos Grade 5; 2, – 2, Ailidh McGonigle on Saxophone Solos Grade 5; Bethany McGhie on Clarinet Solos Grade 5.
Oboe Solos Beginner – 1, Sam Donkin, Haggarty Cup.
Oboe Solos Grade 2 – 1, Charlie Stewart.
Clarinet Solos Grade 3 – 1, Talitha Williams, Carty Cup.
Bassoon Solos Grade 6 – 1, Robbie Stewart; 2, James Stewart on Oboe Solos Grade 6 and Bethany Donn on Clarinet Solos Grade 6.
Flute Solos Advanced – Kirsty McGonigle, Malzie Cup; 2, Ailsa McMillan on Saxophone Solos Advanced and Charis McWhirter on Flute Solos Advanced; 3, Clodagh Beattie on Clarinet Solos Advanced.
Bassoon Solos Beginners – 1, Tom Donkin, Galloway Cup.
Woodwind Duets Beginner – 1, Sam and Tom Donkin, Minnigaff Salver.
Woodwind Duets Secondary – 1, Clodagh Beattie and Kirsty McGonigle, Barclay Trophy; 2=, James and Robbie Stewart and Lorna Phillips and Holly Blakeman; 3=, Charlotte Service and Joanne Wallace and Talitha Williams and Bronagh Beattie.
Brass Solos Beginner – 1, Connor Walker, Cordiner Cup; 2=, Anna Ramsay and Erin Howatson; 3, Rachael Baird.
Brass Solos Grade 1 – 1=, Murray Young and Alasdair McFadzean; 2, Lydia Taylor and Sophie McCulloch.
Brass Solos Grade 2 – 1, Harry Bradley.
Brass Solos Grade 3 – 1, Hannah Birse, CWS Scottish Cup.
Brass Solos Grade 4 – 1, Kiera Merrifield; 2, Karyn McMillan; 3, Rebekah Hughes.
Brass Solos Grade 5 – 1, Davie-Jane Birkhead; 2, Kyle Fitzsimmons, James Allan Trophy.
Other Instruments Solos Secondary – 1, Emily Biggar, Philgown Cup.
Other Instruments Solos Beginner – 1, Alastair McKinnel.
Jazz Group – 1, Dalry S1 W.A.A. Group, Glenluce Jazz Trophy.
Trio Secondary – 1, Holly Blakeman, Joanne Wallace and Charlotte Service, Haggis Trophy; 2=, Duet Mixed Instruments Secondary from Talitha and Barnaby Williams, and Jayne Fiskin, James and Robbie Stewart; 3=, Quartet Primary from Abby Gray, Abbie Ribbens, Laura Scobie & Ellis Stables, and Rachel Black, Maya Robinson, Fiona Roddie and Louisa Birdsall.
Ensemble/Orchestra Secondary – 1, Creetown Junior Ensemble, NS Bowling Club Trophy; 2=, Dalry S3 Group and Dalry S1 W.A.A. Ensemble.
Community Ensembles – 1, Galloway Orchestra.
Family Class – The McGonigle Family, Shirley Trophy.
Pop Music Primary – 1, Caitlin McCornick, Lymm Salver.
Pop Music Secondary – 1, Dalry S1 W.A.A. Group; 2, Anna Murray.
Vocal Solo Beginners – 1, Florrie Newbery, Cree Cup; 2, Gabriella Teears ; 3=, Craig Murphy and Amy Laye.
Vocal Solo Grade 1 – 1, Georgiana Grimwood; 2, Charlotte Spernagel; 3=, Sophie Hall, Jenni Brooke, Cerys McDowell, Rhea Dowling and Kerri Brown.
Vocal Solo Grade 2 – 1, Caitlin McCornick, 1st Girls, Wigtownshire Music Association Trophy; 2, Jasmin Adam; Callum Donald, 1st Boys, Wigtownshire Music Festival Trophy.
Vocal Solo Grade 3 – 1=, Cara Sloan and Bronnen Pears.
Vocal Solo Grade 6 – 1, Bethany Donn.
Vocal Duets Primary – 1, Cara Sloan and Cerys McDowell, Kirkmaiden Cup.
Vocal Duets Beginner – 1, Callum Donald; 2, Sophie Hall.
Primary School Choirs 1-3 Teacher Schools – 1, Kells Choir, Lindsay Singers Trophy; 2, Garlieston Primary Choir; 3=, Kirkcowan Primary Choir and Kirkinner Primary School.
Primary School Choirs 4-5 Teacher Schools – 1, Whithorn Primary Choir, Beeches Trophy; 2, Wigtown Primary Choir; 3=, Gatehouse Primary School P6 and Glenluce Primary Choir.
Primary School Choirs 6 or more Teacher Schools – 1, Penninghame Primary 6 Choir, Wigtownshire Music Festival Trophy; 2, Castle Douglas Primary School Choir. Primary School Choirs 6 or more Teacher Schools – 1, Rephad Primary 6, GMF Challenge Cup; 2, Belmont Primary Choir; 3=, Sheuchan Choir and Park School Choir.
Primary School Choir for Boys – 1, Minnigaff Boys Choir,Hamilton Cup; 2, Whithorn Primary Boys Choir.
Primary School Choirs Hymn and Folk Song – 1, Whithorn Primary Choir, Wigtownshire Music Festival Trophy; 2, Glenluce Primary Choir; 3=, Penninghame Primary 5 and Kells Choir.
Youth Choirs – 1, Galloway Rhins Choir, Galloway Music Festival Trophy.
Recital Class Up to Grade 3 – 1, Talitha Williams, Caledonian Cheese Cup; 2=, Olivia McKnight and Bronagh Beattie; 3=, Tally Robinson and Cara Sloan.
Recital Class Grade 4-5 – 1, Daniel Heaney; 2, Emma Harrison; 3, Lorna Phillips.
Recital Class Grade 6 upwards – 1, Kirsty McGonigle, James Stevenson Trophy; 2=, Clodagh Beattie and James Stewart; 3=, Robbie Stewart, Bethany Donn and Hollie Monteith.
Composition Music Secondary – 1, Charis McWhirter, Duncan trophy; 2, Talitha Williams; 3, Robbie Stewart.
Composition - Poetry/Prose – 1, Esther McGarva.
Group Music Making 1-3 Teacher School – 1, Leswalt Primary 5-7, Vanderhorst Memorial trophy; 2, Creetown Primary 6-7; 3, Group Music Making 4+ Teacher School Minnigaff Primary 5-7.
Group Music Making 1-3 Teacher School – 1, Dalry Primary 3-5, Galloway Music Festival trophy.
Group Music Making 4+ Teacher School – 2=, Penninghame Primary 4-5, Penninghame Primary 3-4 and Port William Primary 4-5; 3=, Minnigaff Primary 4-5 and Group Music Making 1-3 Teacher School, Creetown Primary 3-5.
Poem or Monologue Primary 4 – 1, Max Williams.
Poem or Monologue Primary 5 – 1, Bronagh Beattie.
Poem or Monologue Primary 7 – 1, Bronnen Pears, Lorimer Cup.
Poem or Monologue Primary 7 – 1, Daniel Heaney.
Poem or Monologue Secondary – 1, Dylan Blore, Maxwell Cup.
Prose Reading Primary 1-3 – 1, Bethany McCulloch, Prose Reading Quaich; 2=, Madison Donnelly and John Wadsworth; 3, Bryce Patterson.
Prose Reading Primary 4-5 – 1, Katie McCaig, Prose Reading Quaich; 2, Wilson Sloan; 3=, Abi McKinstry, Anna Christie and Liam Harkness.
Prose Reading Primary 6-7 – 1, Daniel Heaney, Prose Reading Quaich; 2=, Robbie Mann and Bronnen Pears; 3, Thomas Scott.
Prose Reading Secondary S1-3 – 1, Talitha Williams.
Prose Reading Secondary S4-6 – 1, Dylan Blore, Prose Reading Quaich; 2, Barnaby Williams.
Chanter Solo Primary School – 1, Mae Cranmer, Merrick trophy; 2, Matthew Bunyan; 3, Edward Hannay.
Chanter Solo Secondary School – 1, Grace Walker, Rhinns Trophy; 2, Kimberly Conley.
Bagpipe Solos Under 14 March – 1, Jamie Hiddleston, Kells Trophy.
Bagpipe Solos Under 16 March – 1, Lani O’Neill, Allison Motors Bagpipes Shield; 2, Jamie Hiddleston; 3=, Jamie Lockerbie and Fraser Kelly.
Bagpipe Solos Under 18 March, Strathspey and Reel – 1, Lani O’Neill, Lochmaben Royal Burgh Trophy.
Bagpipe Solos 18 and Over March, Strathspey and Reel – 1, Margot Nicol, Bladnoch Trophy; 2, Andrew Nicol.
Scots Fiddle Solos Primary – 1, Abbie Ribbens, Annette Jolly Trophy; 2, Olivia McKnight.
Scots Fiddle Solos Secondary – 1, Ellen Bielinski, Jack Duffy Trophy; 2, Hollie Monteith; 3, Rachel Black.
Penny Whistle Solo Beginner – 1, Charlotte Spernagel.
Ceilidh Groups Beginner – 1, Dalry Primary 5-7; Ceilidh Groups Secondary – 2, Dalry Secondary.
Scots Verse Primary 1-3 – 1, Madison Donnelly, The Music Shop Trophy; 2, Aaron Lochrie; 3=, Oliver Galloway and Libby Kay.
Scots Verse Primary 4 – 1, Amy Wallace; 2, Rory Mann and Douglas McFadzean; 3=, Finlay Vance and Mia Graham.
Scots Verse Primary 5 – 1, Carly Kirk, Kells Trophy; 2, Vanessa Ho; 3=, Anna Christie and Kyle Barr.
Scots Verse Primary 6 – 1, Thomas Scott, MacDonald Trophy; 2, Hamish Sutherland; 3, Keir Andrews.
Scots Verse Primary 7 – 1, Bronnen Pears, Cairnsmore Trophy; 2, Robbie Mann; 3=, Jasmin Adam and Kathryn Robinson.
Scots Song Solo Primary – 1, Bronnen Pears, Stafford Shield; 2=, James Wallace, Cara Sloan and Kathryn Robinson; 3=, Carly Kirk, Ewan Fry and Kirsty Plunkett.
Scots Song Solo Secondary – 1, Bethany Donn, Scots Song Shield.
Scots Song Choral Primary – 1, Whithorn Primary Choir, Saltire Trophy; 2=, Penninghame Primary 7 Choir and Belmont Primary Choir.
Ensembles Adult Competitive – 1, Creetown Silver Band, North West Castle Trophy; 2, Cairnsmore Pipers.
Instrument or Voice Solo Adult Competitive – 1=, Jack Norgate and Rebekah Donn; 2, Bryony Hawkins.