Festival’s record attraction

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Organisers at the Prescot Festival have hailed this year’s bash as the biggest and best yet after attracting a record number of visitors.

The festival, which ran from June 20 to 29 at venues across the town, attracted more 1,400 arts-lover, the largest attendance yet during its 10 year history.

Among the popular concerts vying for attention in a packed programme were performances from Liverpool Cathedral organist Ian Tracey, swing band Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats, and a gala concert with popular brass outfit, Foden’s Band.

Organiser and artistic director Dr Robert Howard said the success of this year’s festival meant it could look forward to a long and exciting future.

“Many smaller arts festivals struggle to last beyond the first four or five years,” said Dr Howard, “so we’re incredibly proud to have made it to our 10th annual festival.”

And at the closing, Proms-style finale concert, a jubilant Dr Howard told audiences that he would ensure that as long as audiences continued to support concerts, “there will always be a Prescot Festival”.

Among other stand-out moments were a performance of Handel’s Messiah by a 100-strong ‘come-and-sing’ chorus and a Young Instrumentalist of Prescot competition.

Pianists Daisy Morrow (year five, Cronton C of E Primary School) and Sonny Fielding (year 10, St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning) won top honours for their schools in the primary and secondary categories, respectively.

The fesitval is run by Arts In Prescot, a voluntary community group dedicated to promoting arts, music and cultural in the historic town.

Its artistic director Dr Howard was raised in Prescot and has served as head of music at a nummber of Merseyside schools as well as heading up the choir school to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, in 2013. He is also a prolific conductor, performer and composer in his spare time.