Time is running out for singers and musicians to enter the 109th Swindon Music Festival as the last date for entries is Friday, January 12, 2018.

The festival begins on Friday, March 16 2018 at Christ Church for classes in church organ and choirs. The bulk of the classes then move to the Swindon Arts Centre in Devizes Road, Old Town, from Saturday, March 17, 2018 to Saturday, March 24, 2018, including the Junior Vocal Championship and the Vocal Championship Cup Contest.

Chairman of the festival Geoff Walters said: "It would be nice to have more choirs entering. The evening at Christ Church is so lovely and they can sing hymns, sacred music, anthems or their own choice of song.''

All singers are accompanied by Swindon's own concert pianist Paul Turner, who has played at the Wigmore Hall recitals with Patricia Rozario and Caroline Dale, has recorded concerts with Elizabeth Watts for the BBC, played concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3's In Tune programme.

The adjudicators are guitar teacher Christopher Daly, soloist and pianist with the Barbican Piano Trio, James Kirby and singer, teacher and conductor Andrea Calladine.

The Swindon Music Festival is regarded as a good stepping stone for budding musicians and singers who will showcase their skills in daily classes for piano, guitar, brass, woodwind, strings, organs, choirs, solos, duets and composers.

Trophies and cups donated by well-known names around Swindon will be given to the class winners and these will include the Swindon Advertiser Cup for Girls or Boys' Solo under eight, the Holmes Music Guitar Trophy, Kentwood Trophy, The Jack Marcer Trophy, The Sheila Marcer Trophy from vice president of the festival, and a cup from the chairman of the festival officials, The Geoff Walters Trophy.

The festival is well known for launching the careers of pianist Jamie Cullum and Hollywood actress Diana Dors.

In both 2006 and 2008 Liden singer Sarah Covey was crowned Vocal and Supreme Champion of the festival. She went on to graduate from the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, was an understudy for West End show Killer Queen and appeared in last year’s Eurovision song contest.

Last year's Supreme Champion was Zoe Tan who scooped the C S Macpherson Trophy.

For your chance to scoop the championship trophy visit www.swindonmusicfestival.co.uk for more details, syllabus and entry form - Flicky Harrison