The annual St Austell Festival of Music and Speech returns tomorrow at St John’s Methodist Church. 

Spoken word sessions will run from Thursday to Saturday, with music sessions taking over from Tuesday to the following Saturday.

This year’s adjudicators are Ann Bauer (spoken ord) and Elizabeth Childs (music).

In the spoken word primary age children recite set poems, own choice poems, duologues, monologues and choral speaking.

The Saturday morning session is an enduring highlight, with the youngest performers from foundation and Key Stage 1 years performing well at just five years-old. At the other end of the age range, a drama group from Penrice Academy will take the stage on Friday morning.

The music week will have the usual wide range of instruments and singers. After a string workshop for beginners on the Monday, sessions will continue from Tuesday with classes for recorders, woodwind, piano and brass, as well as solo singers and choirs.

Primary choirs will perform next Wednesday morning, followed by a short session for string ensembles on the afternoon of Thursday, November 30, barbershop and adult groups and choirs that evening, and a splendid array of brass solos, duets and ensembles on the evening of Friday, December 1.

Although most classes are still competitive, taking part is more important as it enables young people to become more confident and build their self-esteem and good communication skills.

The festival is also a golden opportunity for audiences to come and enjoy a host of local talent. It culminates in a gala concert at 6pm on Saturday, December 2, including highlights from both festival categories.

The festival is a registered charity, organised entirely by volunteers, and is grateful to sponsors including St Austell Town Council, Cornwall Council, the Radford Charitable Trust, Cornwall Music Service Trust, local Rotary and Lions clubs and The White Hart.

Entry to the festival and the concert will be £3, to cover the whole day, with no charge for students.

• For information, contact Anne Keast on 07398 823139 or by email [email protected] or visit the website at