Classes are offered for all string instruments, including harp and guitar, as well as for brass and woodwind including recorder. Most are still in the traditional competitive format and all music played is free choice allowing performers to play pieces which appeal to them and which suits them musically.
Broadly speaking, the instrumental competitive classes are categorised by level rather than age. The four levels are: Elementary – up to Grade 2; Transitional – Grades 3-4; Intermediate – Grades 5-6; Advanced – Grade 7 and above.
This festival’s adjudicator, Alex Rider, invites you to join him in delving into his bag of tricks: tools and exercises for sharpening up your technique, building your sound and your articulation.
More advanced classes and awards
The Jennifer Paterson Young String Player’s Award is given annually to the winner of the class for String Solo, 14 and under.
Thelma King Instrumental Award The five Repertoire classes at Advanced levels are more demanding, with one piece from memory expected. These are qualifying classes for the prestigious Thelma King Instrumental Award in which one overall winner is offered a generous contribution towards an experience of their own choice which will further their musical education. The award is open to all string, woodwind and brass players. The adjudicators will select from the Repertoire classes a shortlist of performers who will then be asked to play in a final in the Braunschweig Room of the Guildhall.
The Premier Award The string and wind concerto classes will both take place in the Citadel. Winners will be joined in the Guildhall by the piano concerto winner for a play off during the evening of Classical Music. The award carries a substantial monetary prize as well as a trophy.