Rising Stars Perform at Henley Youth Festival

Henley Youth Festival once again encouraged young people in Henley and the surrounding villages to perform at one of their five events.

Kicking off the programme was Music Makers at Rupert House School with Sonning Common Recorders opening the event.  Children aged from Reception to Year 6 children performed on piano, violin and cello with sisters Matilda and Phoebe Friend playing the ukulele and singing to Riptide by Van Joy.  The event finished with a brilliant performance by Valley Road School Choir of Revolting Children from Matilda the Musical.

The first night at The Kenton was Senior Proms on Wednesday night with highlights that included the youngest performer, Lucas Wildman performing Melody and Night Escape and Cesar Muresan playing the Spanish guitar performing the incredible Cello Sutte No 1 Prelude in G Major.  In the second half, Ukrainian twins, Matthew and Maksym Korchovji wowed the audience by performing Hungarian dance in D Minor.

Young Performer drew the biggest entries with performances on Thursday night.  Stageworks opened the show dancing to Such a Good Feeling.  Act 1 highlight was Alex Glen, Hermoine Arnison and Allis Healy performing a cute Lemonade & Friendship play.  Rising Star award winner, Alice O’Brien sang and performed Naughty from Matilda the Musical was the second half highlight.

Friday night The Kenton was ‘rocked’ by Gig Night with stand-out performances from Amelia Garner who wrote and sang her own songs and The Fundamentals who performed two of their own songs and Everybody by The Backstreet Boys with high energy and dancing.

The programme closed on Saturday night with the Variety Show at The Kenton.  Before the show started Connor Botha was presented with the Elizabeth Griffin award which is presented to someone who epitomises HYF.  Connor has won the HYF film competition twice and has produced the HYF review film for the last few years in a very short timescale.  Springbox Gymnastics brought out their Barbie girl with a popping acrobatic performance to Pink by Lizzo.  Ayden Yasin wowed the audience with his piano playing of Fur Elise by Beethoven who was not off put at all by his music flapping in front of him. Ayden is Year 6 at Valley Road School and has already obtained Grade 5 at piano.  Friends Tabitha Campbell, Willow Terry and Lily Haynes put on a polished gym and dance display they had choreographed themselves in the school playground to That’s My Girl. The gymnastics elements were of incredible standard for their age.

Laura Law, Chair of HYF said, ‘’This year has been a real success, and it was lovely to see so many schools and children take part in the 30th Henley Youth Festival in some way.  This year’s theme ‘’MY FAVOURITE THINGS’’ was represented beautifully through music, dance, art and movement, including the HYF BIG SING event where 10 local schools celebrated together with
their favourite songs and we sang ‘’Jewel of the River’’ written by Alfie Hay (one of the Founders) in ode to the very first HYF in 1994. I would like to thank all those who sponsored and
volunteered to help make this year so memorable. A lot of time and hard work goes into making this festival so special for so many local schools.”



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