The focus of the Music Festival is to support young musicians and their teachers by providing a performance platform and quality feedback at a time of year when teachers and students will be able to use that experience to support their preparation for performances such as school concerts and music exams in the summer term.

The classes are organised by genre and instrument/voice.  This means that a much wider range of genres can be accommodated and the class structure has been significantly simplified.  Each class is open to all ages and levels.  When timetabling the Festival we schedule each class performance order by age so that the youngest play first.  All entrants are thus able to hear each other’s’ performance. 

We continue to be linked to the British and International Federation for Festivals of Music, Dance and Speech and source our adjudicators from their specialists.  This ensures that we continue to provide the standard of adjudication which we have benefited from in the past. 

By simplifying the class structure and removing the age specific classes we have been able to simplify the fee structure and so there will be one fee for solos, one for duos and trios and one for groups of four or more.  We have also simplified the time allocations.  They will now be between 2 and 6 minutes in all classes and every class will have a choice of one or two pieces.  Tuning and setting up will not be included in the time allocations.  Where there are large classes, such as for example Class 1 Classical Solo Piano, we will schedule the class into several timetable slots by age.  Where there are classes that include several instruments such as Class 4 Classical Solo Strings we will schedule by instrument so that all of the performers on a particular instrument perform consecutively.

The introduction of a much wider range of genres means that we will be providing more in the way of equipment to facilitate different requirements.  These will include:

Classical: grand piano and music stands

Musical Theatre: vocal microphone(s), grand piano, CD or MP3 playback

Pop/Rock, Folk/World and Jazz:  grand piano, music stands, drum kit, bass amplifier, guitar amplifier(s), vocal microphone(s), CD or MP3 playback

Please note that if you require microphone(s), drum kit or instrument amplification we will need to know that before the Festival day so that we can ensure that the equipment is available for you.  If you bring your own electrical equipment it must be PAT certified.

In summary the Key Features are:

  • The Festival provides a platform to aspiring amateur musicians for performance with supportive feedback from professional adjudicators in a friendly atmosphere.
  • The event is open to all styles and genres of music with all instruments and voices being welcome.  Participants can perform on their own (solo) or in a group (ensemble).
  • The Festival continues to award the “Colchester Rotary Musician of the Year” and “Colchester Rotary Singer of the Year” trophies on the basis of the performances during the classes.
  • The adjudicators are chosen from the British and International Federation specialist adjudicators.  This ensures that the quality of the feedback is of the highest standard and that the running of the Festival is compliant with all of the national standards.  Adjudicators are also always from out of the Essex/Suffolk area to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.
  • Every entrant will receive a written adjudication sheet and a certificate as well as verbal feedback from the adjudicator at the end of the class.