“Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is” Sir Malcolm Arnold CBE, composer, conductor and musician (1921-2006)
Festival Patron 1986-2006
The Festival was the brainchild of Gorleston vicar, Rev Tony Clemens and founder member Harold Taylor. Together they set up a celebration which would take place around St Andrew’s Day, traditionally the 30th November. The first Festival, held at St Andrew’s Church in 1969, was nearly the last when heavy snow led to the cancellation of some events. Despite adverse weather conditions, the concept captured local people’s imaginations and a number signed up to be patrons.
To avoid cancellations, in 1970, the date was brought forward and the Festival relocated to the church’s newly built octagonal Chapter House. Soon after, a competitive Festival was added in the spring, which continues to bring in several hundred competitors each year.
The Festival is a registered charity run by a voluntary committee and has been affiliated with the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech. 2016 saw a revised format and new committee, along with a brand new venue at Magdalen Way Methodist Church, Gorleston thus starts an exciting new chapter in the Festival’s history…
2016 was indeed a very enjoyable experience for all who attended and all who organised the event were happy with how their first festival went. We are looking forward to next year and hope to extend the number of instrumentalists who enter…if you play anything come along and have a go!