Performers of all ages had the opportunity to perform in public as the 10-day St Austell Festival of Music and Speech took place at St John’s Methodist Church.

Spoken Word categories included monologue, duologue, humorous poem and choral speaking. 

Musical categories stretched from solo and singing to woodwind, brass, piano and band/orchestra. Sadly, snow disrupted proceedings with Thursday afternoon’s string ensembles having to be cancelled due to school buses collecting pupils early.  

Further highlights included a lively two-hour string workshop for new players, with Karen Frost and Phil Montgomery-Smith from Cornwall Music Service Trust, sponsored by the Radford Charitable Trust.  

Adjudicators were Ann Bauer and Liz Childs, accompanists were Hannah Hawken and Anthony Trodd, and the event was also sponsored by St Austell Town Council and Cornwall Council. 

The festival’s general secretary Anne Keast said: “Thanks must go to our two adjudicators, Ann Bauer and Liz Childs for their positive encouragement to all who took part, to our official accompanists, Hannah Hawken and Anthony Trodd, to St John’s Methodist Church for providing us with such a good venue, to all our sponsors, including St Austell Town council, Cornwall Council, the Radford Charitable Trust and the Cornwall Music Service Trust, to the schools and teachers who supported us and to our hardworking committee and volunteers. Most importantly, we thank all who came and delighted us with their performances.”

She added: “We do hope that our schools will continue to recognise the importance of the performing arts in helping young people to develop their confidence and self-esteem, which was stressed so much by our adjudicators.”