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White Rock Theatre - venue for the Hastings Music Festival photo: Antony Mair

Gearing up for the Piano Concerto Competition

The first three weeks of March in Hastings are devoted to the Hastings Musical Festival, which has been going for more than a century.  It’s not a festival like those in Edinburgh or Brighton, but consists of a series of competitions for performers in music and dance.   In recent years the jewel in the crown of the Festival has been the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which takes place in the first week of March, the final being on Saturday  8 March, writes Antony Mair

Last year we were in the audience for the final, which was an amazing event.  This year we have foolishly volunteered to help with the running of the Competition, together with about twenty others.  Not, you will understand, in any highfalutin fashion: our tasks will be restricted to guiding contestants from rehearsal venues to the stage of the White Rock Theatre for their performance.  On the night of the final we are likely to be selling programmes.

Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition

So today saw the small volunteer army being inducted to the mysteries of the White Rock Theatre, better known for performances by popstar lookalikes and the occasional dire production of classical opera and ballet.  There’s the usual labyrinth of backstage corridors and small dressing-rooms, and that strange feeling, when you come on stage, of the auditorium being somehow smaller than you thought it would be.

We were given a slightly bewildering list of instructions by our masters, and I left hoping that I would be able to deliver my charges safely to the venue for their allotted time without accident or mishap.  No doubt all will come right on the night.  At least on the final evening we shall be doing some fairly brainless activity rather than shepherding our virtuosos to the Yamaha grand.  I’m just hoping we’ll be able to hear the performances as well.

Hastings Music Festival  2014 takes place at White Rock Theatre, White Rock, TN34 1JX from 3-22 March 2014 See Programme

Volunteer at the Hastings Music Festival

Republished with kind permission from Postcards from Hastings

Posted 16:29 Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 In: Music & Sound

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