THE run-up to this year's Skipton Music Festival got underway with a recorder workshop for more than 50 young musicians in the town hall.

The week long festival, which was first held in 1922, and two years ago celebrated its 100th anniversary, will take place from Saturday, March 9, will be split between two venues this year, and will culminate in a gala performance on Friday, March 15 at Christ Church, Skipton.

Children and adults from across the area have signed up to take part in the event, which includes classes in piano, singing, guitar, organ and recorder playing, as well as classes for choirs. 

Last week's workshop at the town hall was the first of the music festival's year of events and featured professional musicians, The Palisander Ensemble, in town for their Skipton Music concert.

Arranged by the festival's Fiona Smith, children were greeted with a forest of recorders from a diminutive garklein to a giant contrabass.

Chris Wright, from Skipton Music Festival, said: "The versatile and talented quartet enthused a diverse group of young recorder players who ended the session with a delightful concert that included pieces the children had learned. Some of these were played on their own; others were played alongside the professionals, while at times, we all simply sat and listened in awe to the hundreds of ways you can use a recorder.

"This very special morning was the first of the music festival’s year of events. The flagship, of course, will always be the festival itself – a week’s extravaganza of music from the very youngest pre-school child up to some whose bus passes must be getting a bit dog-eared."

Chris said double-booking and other issues had meant a re-working of the festival's traditional timetable and although it had not suited everyone, the co-operation of teachers, parents and carers, had meant the festival could go ahead.

Most of the piano classes will be held in Trinity St Andrew’s church on Westmoreland Street; while all other classes take place in the festival's usual home at Christ Church on Keighley Road.

Chris  added: "All of our sessions are open; particularly recommended are the Monday night when the blue-riband recital classes take place and, of course, the final concert when you’ll hear a selection of what has been best during the week. That is always an amazing evening. Do come – you will be most welcome."

The final, gala concert takes place at 7pm on Friday, March 15 at Christ Church.

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