ST AUSTELL FESTIVAL of MUSIC and SPEECH
Affiliated to The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech
An annual competitive Festival to encourage the study, performance and appreciation of music and speech by affording amateur competitors the opportunity of having their performances assessed by highly qualified Adjudicators, and above all, to enjoy performing.
It was with great regret that the Festival Committee this week made the decision to cancel this year’s festival. This will be the first time that the annual festival has been cancelled since it began in 1948. The festival was not due to take place until late November and early December, but it was clear that the festival could not happen then in its normal form.
Advice has been given that singing and the playing of woodwind and brass instruments should not take place in public gatherings because this spreads Covid 19 more easily. Social distancing requirements would also mean that we could not invite groups to take part this year. Many of our committee members and helpers are over seventy, so we would not want to put them at unnecessary risk. There was little appetite also for some sort of virtual festival because what is so exciting about the festival experience is to mix with those from other schools and groups to enjoy performing together in front of family, friends and people from the local community.
The festival is very grateful for the support it has received from local schools. It is only too aware of the enormous pressures on teachers, young people and parents at this time to make it possible for education to be delivered successfully. These pressures are likely to continue into the autumn and the festival does not want to add to them.
We hope that the 2021 festival will be an opportunity for St Austell to enjoy our annual event once again and look forward to welcoming performers and audience back to enjoy it.
Anne Keast (Secretary)