Festival fun for singers

Sarah Barton
Sarah Barton

HARTLEPOOL’S many singers and musicians are being encouraged to showcase their talents in a popular music festival.

Entry forms for this year’s Hartlepool Music and Arts Festival are now available with categories for all kinds of music.

The festival, which is now in its 13th year, will take place over consecutive weekends in May.

This year, organisers are encouraging more school choirs to enter after only a handful have taken part in recent years.

The festival is organised by a group of local music teachers to celebrate the town’s rich musical talent among all ages.

Sarah Barton, who works at Golden Flatts Primary School, said: “It’s a fantastic weekend and entrants have loads of fun. It is competitive but not overly so and it is also a great experience. We normally get about 50 piano entries and 150 singers including around ten choirs and vocal groups.

“We are really trying to push for school choirs because in previous years it has only really been Golden Flatts and Fens primaries and High Tunstall school, so we are encouraging other schools to enter as well.”

Vocalists, instrumentalists, bands and orchestras are also invited to take part in this year’s competition.

Last year saw the introduction of a new show choir section to capitalise on the growth of American-style Glee groups. The event will be held at Holy Trinity Church in Seaton Carew and Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, Raby Road.

Sarah added: “Apart from that mix people can sing with the piano, with backing, songs from musicals, films or in other languages. We get a wide range of entrants from young children to adults in their 70s.”

Entrants are judged by a panel of independent adjudicators and cash prizes and scholarships are available for the top finalists. Hartlepool Music and Arts Festival will be held on the weekend of May 10 and 11th, and May 17 and 18.

More information and festival syllabuses are available from the festival’s Facebook page or by contacting Sarah Barton on 07882576863.