Lois Pearson, Artistic Director
Lauren Zhang with pupils from Beaminster St Mary’s School

A review of the 2019 Festival

Everyone felt a new energy possibly due to the sheer number of children involved. Two family friendly events bookended the week, both entirely free.   Scoot, the favourite local band, soon got Party in the Park rocking and over 1000 people, mostly young families relaxed in the sun with the children charging around enjoying the freedom.

Another 600 enjoyed a sunny afternoon in the beautiful Manor gardens with children’s shows, games and workshops, together with jazz band, the Youth Club Band and Flash Dance.

Almost 50 children attended the concerts of Emma Johnson and Ferio Saxophone Quartet, and Ferio delivered school concerts to all the local primary schools and Year 8 of Beaminster School.

There were some cracking performances in the pre-Coffee Concerts by Mountjoy Handbell Team, Perrott Hill, St Mary’s Academy and Beaminster School, and several steel pans workshops have been given. The Seniors had some great entertainments and it was lovely to see people with dementia spark into life singing their favourite songs.

The main core of the Festival was filled with top quality concerts, again a great variety with 2 extraordinary young pianists, Eric Lu, and Lauren Zhang who showed off her virtuosity to 30 young children gathered on stage around the piano.

Emma Johnson’s jazz trio was highly popular and Mark Padmore, tenor, gave a stunning performance. At the end of the week the Marmen String Quartet and the 12 ensemble both demonstrated a wonderful range of dynamics, tone colour and high drama.

For those who liked to Boogie, Ben Waters gave a great show. With the Visual Arts Exhibition, a Comedy Club, fringe events and a Tea Dance, Beaminster Festival really has had something for everyone.

The Committee and team of volunteers thank everyone, locals and visitors of all ages, who participated in a wonderful week of music and the arts.

Lois Pearson, Artistic Director