Young Heroes of the Stage

HYF 2014HYF 2014HYF 2014HYF 2014HYF 2014

Wednesday night last week saw the opening night of the Henley Youth Festival shows at the Kenton Theatre with the musical ‘Prom’ night.  The evening featured some fantastic young soloists on piano, violin, cello and flute including a very moving performance of Automne by Cecile Chaminade by Henley College student Olivia Dance. Groups on percussion, brass and strings played a variety of pieces from rock to jazz and Henley Festival Youth Orchestra rounded off the evening with a rousing version of Dambusters. The Elizabeth Griffin Award, presented annually for creativity and commitment to HYF was presented to Harriet Herridge who has been taking part in the Festival for 9 years and has danced, sung, played the cello and flute, helped promote HYF at late night shopping and helped as an Assistant Stage Manager. Lucie Henwood, presenting the award, called it ‘richly deserved.’

‘Anything goes’ was the format for Thursday’s ‘Entertain’ night which included singing, dancing, poetry and gymnastics!  Many of the evening’s performances incorporated this year’s theme of ‘Heroes’ including Capucine English who recited ‘Steve the Superhero’. It also featured the youngest ever HYF performers; Team Dragonflies from Dragonflies Montesorri School who reallly touched the audience with their singing of Nellie the Elephant, I love my Bananas and their play ‘Dear Zoo’.

Over 150 dancers filled the stage on Friday night for the HYF Dance evening from classical, to pop to Irish dancing.  It also included showcases from the Valley Road School Dancers and Stageworks.

The finale show HYF Sing on Saturday evening saw amazing solos in every musical style and the first ever performances of ‘HYF chorus’ featuring students from Gillotts, Henley College and Shiplake College (plus a few extras!) under the tutorship of Benjamin Goodson. This was one of their songs – and they only had 2 1/2 hours to rehearse!

The Henley Youth Festival is such a unique and amazing event for the young people of Henley.  We are very fortunate to have this annual event organised by a fantastic group of volunteers.

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