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Prescot Festival Celebrates Record Turnout

A Merseyside arts festival saw the biggest turnout in its 14-year history last month.

OVER 1,700 people attended concerts and cultural events during the 15th Annual Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts, with a final night audience of 325, an increase of 100 on 2018.

The finale saw festival favourites Maghull Wind Orchestra return to Prescot with a guest star in tow Danielle Louise Thomas, the soprano known affectionately as the 'Voice of Liverpool.' Danielle, who 1st shot to fame as a teenager on BBC1's Songs of Praise, was invited after audiences requested a singer to round off the 2019 celebrations.

"We had queues round the block for a spectacular evening... And as always, the crowds were jubilant and enthusiastic, singing along and waving their flags to a medley of rousing patriotic songs, in the traditional "Proms" style." said artistic director Dr Robert Howard.

The stirring occasion concluded a 10 day programme that featured something for everyone, including:- an opening night with the Band and Drums of the Cheshire Constabulary, a 1st time festival appearance from the world renowned Liverpool Cathedral Choir and a return visit from big band Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats.

A celebration of community music making, the week also included the 1st ever Primary Schools' Choir Festival and the already established Young Instrumentalists of Prescot, a showcase for musical talent held in memory of the late local priest and businessman the Reverend David Rose.

Robert continued:- 'Every year it's quite a challenge to top the formidable quality of the previous year, but thanks to our excellent performers, generous sponsors, hard-working volunteers and appreciative audiences, the festival has gone on from strength to strength.'

The 16th Annual Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts is already penned in for Friday, 19 June to Sunday, 28 June 2020. Keep up to date with it and other, year round concerts and events at:- PrescotFestival.Co.UK.

Charlotte hits all the right notes

Charlotte Meredith at Resonate's annual iSing event at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Monday

AN Anfield teenager is celebrating after being awarded a full scholarship to attend 1 of the UK's top music Schools. Charlotte Meredith, 18, who attends North Liverpool Academy, will have her tuition fees paid for her full course when she starts her 3 year music performance degree at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, in September. Although already accepted to study at the conservatoire, Charlotte had to do a further audition before a panel to secure the funding.

Jonathan Dickson, head of service at Resonate, said:- "We just couldn't believe it when Charlotte told us she had been awarded a full scholarship. We are very proud of her massive success that shows that barriers can be broken down. I remember seeing Charlotte play very early on when she was at Primary School and I thought 'that kid's really got it.' Her success represents the work Resonate does in the City; how we are engaging with children and young people and giving them a life long love of music. Over the last 12 years we have seen music education develop and expand despite the wider challenges and financial pressures that we have faced. Liverpool has a real story to tell in how it is thriving."

Charlotte's musical journey started at Anfield Road Primary School when she started playing the ukulele in Year 5 with her classmates. Her potential was spotted and she then began to attend Resonate, Liverpool's Music Education Hub, based at Notre Dame Catholic College, which then enabled her to choose her next instrument; the double bass. She now also plays the bass guitar.

Cllr Barbara Murray, cabinet member for education, said:- "Charlotte's success in such a competitive area is a well deserved reward for her hard work and commitment. As Resonate is proving, giving children and young people the opportunity to take part in activities such as music is vitally important. For some, like Charlotte, it will put them on to a brilliant career path, for others it will give them an experience that will enrich their lives. On behalf of the City, I wish Charlotte every success in the future."

Resonate has also supported Charlotte to study for her music GCSE and A level in the evenings and she is part of the 1st cohort of young people to study the A level through Resonate. The hub also supported her university applications. Although Charlotte hasn't even started her degree yet, she already has plans to return to Liverpool to study for a PGCE when she has completed it.

Said Charlotte:- "When I chose to play the double bass my mum said, 'let's think about this, what about the violin?!', but I said that's what I want to play! It was just the sound of it that made me want to play it. I wanted to go to Birmingham as are a lot more opportunities at the conservatoire, there is more emphasis on the musical aspect. I got a feeling there that I didn't get when I visited other universities. When I have my degree I want to come back to Liverpool and do a PGCE. I already volunteer at Resonate and at the Primary School where my mum works so I already know how great to be able to see children progress and it's lovely to get that feeling. Resonate has done so much for me, they have made a real impression and they see people as musicians."

Resonate, formerly the Liverpool Music Support Service, is an Arts Council funded service that works with 16,000 children and young people a year in most Schools across Liverpool.

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