BALLYMENA Musical Festival, which is due to begin on February 18, is among the largest in Northern Ireland, attracting entrants from all over Ireland.
The Festival and its sponsors have always been generous with the awards presented to the winners and runners-up in many of the competitions, with the aim of providing financial assistance and encouragement to aspiring singers and musicians. But until this year the awards have been limited to the senior classes.
The Festival Committee felt that it would be appropriate to give some practical recognition also to outstanding performers in a more junior class.
So this year a new class has been inaugurated, for Junior Instrumentalist of the Year, carrying a prize of £100.00 for first place and £50.00 for the runner up.
The Committee hopes that many of the talented young musicians both from Ballymena area and from further afield will decide to compete for the prizes.
There is no lower age limit but it’s recommended that performers should be competent at Grade 5 level or above. Performers will have be under the age of 15 on February 1; and can enter online by logging on to the Ballymena festival website : www.ballymenafestival.org.uk
As well as the Junior Instrumentalist, The Beggs and Partners Instrumental Award (£300.00 1st prize, £100.00 runner up) will be competed for by the winners of Open Instrumental Solo classes on Saturday, February 23 at 7.0ppm in The Braid Arts centre.
Full details are on the festival website. www.ballymenafestival.org.uk