Record turnout for Prescot Festival

Britain's Got Talent star Richard Johnson performing at the Prescot Festival
Britain's Got Talent star Richard Johnson performing at the Prescot Festival
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THE ninth annual Prescot Festival has been hailed a resounding success following a record turnout.

Over ten days, 1,300 people attended symphonies performed by sopranos and surprise stars at the Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts.

There was even an unscheduled appearance from Britain’s Got Talent singing sensation Richard Johnson, who, along with his brother Adam, finished a creditable third in the hit ITV show last month.

The festival began on June 21 with a show-stopping concert by musical theatre company BOST.

Just days after Richard Johnson joined BOST for an impromptu performance, the Johnson Brothers announced a debut album deal with Sony.

The programme continued throughout the week with a gospel choir, a cathedral organist, school instrumental and verse-speaking competitions, and a full symphony orchestra playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic soloist Gethyn Jones.

In another festival record, 100 sopranos, altos, tenors and basses gathered from across the North West to join the Prescot Festival Chorus in singing Fauré’s Requiem.

And it was left to Haydock Male Voice Choir to round off the proceedings on Sunday night with the Proms-style Festival Finale in a packed Prescot Parish Church.

“The consistently high quality of the performances this year has been overwhelming,” said artistic director Dr Robert Howard.

“We’ve enjoyed such a warm, joyful atmosphere, and we’ve seen bigger and more diverse audiences than ever before.”

The wheels are already in motion for a spectacular 2014 programme to mark the festival’s tenth year too.