Get in tune for Chippy festival

MHBG-10-03-11 Chipping Norton Music Festival.  Anthony Williams  with Stephen Clarke  ENGNNL00120110803155936
MHBG-10-03-11 Chipping Norton Music Festival. Anthony Williams with Stephen Clarke ENGNNL00120110803155936

Chipping Norton is tuning up ready for its annual music festival and wants performers to sign up to take part

The festival, which will be in its 105th year, runs from March 3 to 18 and last year more than 1,000 people took part.

The festival’s mission is to “promote confidence through performance” and is an opportunity for artists young and old to perform to an audience and adjudicator, and receive constructive feedback and guidance.

A schedule of categories is now available at and at the Jaffe and Neale bookshop in Chipping Norton, and people have until January 20 to sign up. Some categories of performance such as senior choirs can be oversubscribed, so groups are encouraged to book early to secure their place.

The festival spans a two-week period to allow time for all the different classes or categories of performance to take place.

Some awards, such as the Youth Jazz Band Challenge Cup which was won last year by Reading School Band, are awarded as the festival takes place. Others such as the Rotary Club Cup, which was awarded last year to pianist Emma Pascoe from Chipping Norton School, are announced at the end of the festival.

The festival is organised entirely by volunteers who all share a love of music and performance.

Sarah Cobb, chair of the event, said: “The Chipping Norton Music Festival helps people to experience what fun it is to perform, and how life affirming music and performance can be. Some TV shows have recently jumped on the band wagon - we’ve been doing this in Chipping Norton since before TV was invented!

“We’re incredibly lucky to have adjudicators who are all leading professional performers in their own fields take part in our festival here in Chipping Norton. For musicians, performers and the audience it is a wonderful opportunity to hear the adjudicators discuss music and performance in a more friendly and open setting.

“Taking part is a great way to nurture talent, and hopefully build a love of performing and music which will be a gift for life.”

The event ends with a number of concerts. One is a traditional end of festival concert showcasing some of the highlights. This year the second concert will be a performance given by Craig Ogden, the world-renowned guitar player, who is also the festival vice president.