The Woodley Festival started at Emmbrook School last Saturday with the Choirs Section.
This year a bumper entry saw eight classes ranging from Infants to adult choirs involving hundreds of singers and they were watched by even more proud supporters.
Organisers were thrilled to welcome Wokingham Borough Mayor John Kaiser to watch the Infant Choirs who was as entranced as everyone else by the confident singing from Crosfields, Dolphin, The Abbey and Loddon Schools.
The staff choir from Dolphin School also benefited from the same audience as the children and they were praised by adjudicator Simon Hayward for the great example that they were setting the children. He also commented on the mental and physical benefits of lifelong participation in choral singing.
In the afternoon Wokingham Town Mayor, Cllr Julian McGhee-Sumner was on hand to present medals and trophies to more Infant choirs from The Abbey and Holme Grange.
The classes continued with Lower and Upper Junior Choirs and the day ended with some lovely singing from the Vocal Group from Luckley House School.
The Festival continued on Sunday with some older choirs including Young People’s choirs from Elstree, Crosfields, Bulmershe, Luckley House and Universal Voices.
Meanwhile over at The Oakwood Centre in Woodley the Instrumental Section was in full swing with two full days of classes from beginners to adult composition.
A huge range of pieces and instruments were on show, including violins, guitars, cellos, flute, recorder, bassoons, saxophones and even a harp.
There were some incredible performances with one of the highlights being an Outstanding Performance on an alto saxophone by Harry who is studying at The Purcell School. Audiences also enjoyed a family ensemble and some composition classes.
The Vocal Section of the Festival also got under way on Sunday afternoon with a number of folk and vocal solos. The Festival was thrilled to welcome a new adjudicator, Carys Lane, and she had a very entertaining afternoon with performances in different languages and even some unaccompanied singing.
The Woodley Festival continues next weekend at The Oakwood Centre with more instrumental classes, but they will be joined by speech and drama entrants and the piano section. There’s also the ever-entertaining group ensembles at Bulmershe School on Sunday afternoon.