The clock is ticking for musicians, composers and singers to enter the110th Swindon Music Festival.

The syllabus is out now, and musicians need to snap them up as the closing date for entries is Friday, January 18, 2019. The festival gets underway at Christ Church in Old Town before moving to the Arts Centre in Devizes Road, running from Friday, March 22 to Saturday, March 30 2019.

Classes include entries from choirs, vocal solos, duets, groups, piano, strings, woodwind, guitar, ensembles, brass, keyboard, church organ and harp.

The adjudicators this year are organist, pianist, harpsichord player and teacher Gary Sieling, pianist Caroline Clemmow and opera singer Yvonne Patrick.

Gary has performed solo at Westminster Abbey and Kings College Cambridge. He has just retired as Director of Music for St Mary the Virgin in Henley, and is accompanist to the BBC Singers, London Cantata Choir and the Bridgeman Singers.

Caroline was a founder member of the Harley Piano Trio and has collaborated with Evelyn Glennie creating a piano percussion repertoire. She was half of a renowned duo, with Anthony Goldstone, who died last year. They built up an international following for their ground breaking, original piano duets.

Yvonne began singing with the D’Oly Carte Opera Company before joining the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She has performed all over the world including Kenya, where she sang Mozart’s Requiem in Nairobi Cathedral. She is also a regular guest on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, and appeared in Bizet’s Carmen, the first opera to be staged at the O2 arena.

Geoff Walters, chairman of the festival for the last 17 years, said: “Our competitors have great feedback from the adjudicatorswho are world class performers and teachers in their own right. We are also fortunate to have Paul Turner as our accompanist. Few festivals have such a distinguished, professional musician. Many of our performers come to the festival because Paul will be going to play for them.’’

Along with the competitors Geoff is keen to attract more people to simply enjoy the music and atmosphere of the annual festival. He says there is such an amazing quality of musicianship, and wide variety of musicfrom folk to pop, opera to classical, musical theatre and film scores.“I am hoping that this year retired people, particularly those who live in Old Town, will come and enjoy this fantastic festival of music. The day sessions mean you don’t have to be out after dark. It is a day out for very little money, and even less if you become a friend of the festival,’’ he said.

Geoff is also looking for more adult vocalists to come forward to compete, and also solo brass players.

“Over the years Swindon has had strong entries in the vocal classes and huge successes in the festival. There is a lot of singing talent in the town, just look at SALOS recent production of Oklahoma, but the classes in recent years have dwindled slightly. Also we have a lot of brass bands in the area and we would like to target the individual musicians from the bands to join the festival,’’ said Geoff. For more details of how to enter visit - Flicky Harrison