Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival
Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival

Festival History

On 20 July 1950 representatives from several local organisations met to discuss the possibility of holding a competitive Festival in Sevenoaks.   After a huge amount of discussion and organisation the first Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival was held in November 1951.   Because of the Queen's Coronation and other festivities there was no Festival in 1953, but it has been held every year since then using several different schools in and around Sevenoaks.   Since 2005 it has been held at Walthamstow Hall Senior School.

 

Numerous changes have taken place over the years.   The Dance Section was discontinued in 1985; however, in 2003 the Accordion Section was added joining classes in Speech and Drama, Vocal, Piano, Strings and Woodwind.

 

Well-known and popular with Adjudicators and competitors as friendly and enthusiastic, the Festival draws entries from all over the South-east.   Many have gone on to become successful professionals and some are now entering their pupils in the Festival, knowing the benefits and experience they can gain and the sheer enjoyment of performing in front of an audience.

 

The past 50-plus years have seen many changes in committee members who have coped nobly with the enormous task of running the Festival, notably Jill Hargreaves-Browne (whose mother was one of the founders) who worked tirelessly as Secretary for 25 years!  We are pleased to have Robert Sackville-West, Lord Sackville, as our President.

 

We do however congratulate ourselves on the biggest landmark in the Festival's history, namely the launching of the Sevenoaks Young Musician of the Year Competition.   It was the brainchild in 1995 of June Clements, a long-standing member of the Festival's Executive Committee, and has grown in stature and prestige, moving in 1998 from its beginnings at Bradbourne School as part of the Festival in June to its present venue, Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks.   The standard of the fifteen or so competitors each year has been astounding, and the difficult task by the excellent adjudicators of picking a winner has resulted in some truly outstanding young musicians receiving the first prize - £500 plus the chance to play a concerto with the Lydian Orchestra, also founded by June Clements.   Sadly June died in November 1996, but the Sevenoaks Young Musician of the Year Competition remains as a thriving memorial.

 

The Festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech.   Much needed financial help has been given by SDAC and the Town Council, and there were times when without this the future of the Festival would have been in doubt.

Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival 2018

The Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival this year saw entry numbers falling slightly – this is not particularly surprising as they have been rising over the last few years, a situation which could not be expected to go on indefinitely.  The only exception to this was our Speech and Drama section which continues to grow bigger year by year  Our Festival has always had a reputation for being a particularly friendly one, and certainly our competitors showed a huge amount of enthusiasm both in their performances and in showing off their Certificates and adjudication sheets afterwards. 

 

The Prizewinners’ Concert which brought this year’s Festival to a close on Saturday 23 June was once again an indication of the high standards reached across the varied age range and different performance disciplines: with performers aged from six to adult, the audience was treated to a feast of entertainment and showed their appreciation accordingly.  Awards were presented by the Town Mayor Cllr Roderick Hogarth, and the SDC and SDAC Chairmen were also official guests.

Award winners 2018                                                                                  

 

Speech

KIRKPATRICK CUP   Meera Satisha

FLORENCE LOTT CUP   Jasmine Beckett

VERSE SPEAKING CHALLENGE CUP   Alison Boys

RUSSELL HOUSE CUP   Meera Satisha

EARL STANHOPE SHIELD   Grace Adams

ELLA SUTTON CUP   Jasmine Bhatti

COMBE BANK CUP   Arjaan Amos Miah

ST MICHAEL’S CUP   Steephill School Class III

LLOYD-ROBERTS TROPHY   Steephill School Class IV

MARGARET MAY CUP   Steephill School Class Upper I

PUBLIC SPEAKING CUP   Haydn Moses

GROVE POETRY AWARD   James Hori

 

Piano

ISABELLE PEACOCK CUP    Jennifer Wells

JUNIOR PIANO CUP   Madeline Harding

ELSIE WELLS CUP (2)   Ayla O’Brien/Emily Sellors

FIONA PRAGNELL CUP   Emily Sellors

GEORGE CRUICKSHANK CUP   Adi Srivastava

 

Vocal

SDAC JUNIOR CHOIRS SHIELD    Russell House School

SCHOOL CHOIRS SHIELD    Amherst School

HARGREAVES-BROWNE CUP    Christopher/Alex Walker

ORR EWING CUP    Christopher/Alex Walker

FESTIVAL ROSE BOWL    Tristan Peters

   

Woodwind  

WARREN CHALLENGE CUP    Daniel Pengelly

SEVENOAKS TOWN COUNCIL CUP    Isabella Pengelly

 

Strings

RUPERT SUTTON CUP    Jennifer Wells

CELLO CUP   Susannah Wells

COLIN BOSWELL GUITAR CUP   Antoine Lynn

ARTS COUNCIL CUP   Jennifer Wells

STRINGS/WIND/RECORDER CUP   Somerhill Swing Band

 

Accordion

ACCORDION WORLD MAGAZINE TROPHY   Ann Claire Herr

DAVID KEEN MEMORIAL TROPHY   Watford Accordion Band

Cllr Hogarth with Margaret Holgate, Festival Secretary, and the cups before presentation

Cllr Hogarth with award winners after the presentation

The Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous assistance received from the Sevenoaks District Arts Council (which is funded by the Sevenoaks Dsitrict Council) and Sevenoaks Town Council

Affiliated to the British & International Federation of Festivals

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