Amateur musicians of all ages and ethnicities (vocalists, instrumentals, bands and choral groups of different stripes) are encouraged to take part, be they at beginner level or advanced. What’s important is a desire to perform for others and receive an adjudication by a top professional musician who will be well-versed in their particular area of musical expertise. Although the main focus of the competition is to give performers the experience of actually competing with others, it also aims to give individuals a learning opportunity via adjudicators’ comments, which are always constructive.
Historically, the music festival has leaned mainly toward conventional styles of music-making (all kinds of classical, folk, barbershop, jazz, swing, original music composition, etc) but the committee is not averse to diversity and to this end is open to adding new classes that appeal to more modern audiences, but always with an ear for best performance.
Over the decades many former competitors have gone on to enjoy successful careers in music as teachers and professional musicians and it is hoped that their participation in the Chester Festival has helped them in some small part in achieving those endeavours.
Full details of how to enter, as well as rules and regulations, plus an entry form can be downloaded from the Home Page. You can also get copies of these documents via mail, if preferred. Festival personnel are listed on the Contact Us page.
Speech & Drama
The festival attracts many competitors from a number of schools in and around the area. Its rationale is to encourage youngsters to participate in the spoken arts and experience a sense of fulfillment and increasing confidence from the act of performing. As with music, competitors receive a written adjudication, as well as a certificate which records their level of achievement. Sessions normally start at 9.30am. Usually, the morning session is from 9.30am – 12.30pm, followed by an afternoon session beginning at 1.30pm and finishing at 4.30pm. There is also an evening session which commences at 5.30pm and ends around 9.00pm.