100th Galloway Music Festival just weeks away

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The 100th Galloway Music Festival comes to the area next month with a varied display of local talent.

Adjudicators have been booked, as have venues in Newton Stewart and Stranraer, and fundraising efforts have taken place in the form of concerts and bag packing at the local supermarket.

Programmes have gone to print and so has the celebration booklet which will include photos from, and interesting comments about, past festivals.

In the early days the festival was made up of a few classes - verse speaking, singing and piano solos. As time progressed other classes were added such as school orchestras, choirs and strings.

But compare that now with the syllabus for 2014 and you can observe just how much the event has grown, partly through opportunities available to young people and community groups, but largely through the efforts of a dedicated committee, whose members, particularly the teachers amongst them, encourage, nurture and cajole the pupils as they prepare to perform on stage.

This year a total of 554 entries have been submitted for 77 classes, offering a platform to performers in a wide range of musical styles and instruments. Included are classical, jazz, folk and pop; solos, duos and larger groups; keyboard, brass, strings, woodwind, bagpipes and voices, song and spoken verse, competitive and non-competitive.

There’s something for everyone, and everyone is invited to come and enjoy the music making for this very special festival.

All events, except the final concert, are free, and the public are welcome to attend as long there are enough seats available. The prize winners’ concert will take place on Saturday afternoon, March 15 at 2pm. Tickets for this will be available during the festival week.

As this is such a special occasion an extra event has been organised. Adjudicator Murray McLachlan, himself a concert pianist of considerable renown, and who recently gave a stunning recital in Gatehouse of Fleet, will lead a master class for promising pianists. Up to 20 pupils may be chosen for this, and it will take place on Saturday March 15th at 10.30am in the cinema, Newton Stewart. Take the opportunity of attending this and experience some of our local up and coming musical talent.

March 10 – 15th is the week to come and support all competitors.