Warminster Festival reveals talents

This Is Wiltshire: Athenaeum singers and newcomers rehearse songs at Christ Church Athenaeum singers and newcomers rehearse songs at Christ Church

This year’s Warminster Festival has been declared a success, with “hidden treasures” from the town demonstrating their talents.

The event came to a close on Saturday night, with a finale concert organised by Warminster Community Radio DJ Barry Mole and featuring the local Military Wives Choir.

Competitions and events were held throughout the festival, encouraging singers, photographers, artists and poets to show their skills.

Town residents were encouraged to draw a self-portrait on post cards for the Face Mail exhibition and about 180 people got involved.

Many others joined the Chalk Marks art event, or submitted work for the poetry competition.

Among them was Emma Ledbury, who took a third prize for her poem, An Army Town.

She said: “I haven’t been writing poetry long and no one has ever read my poetry before.” Singers got involved with workshops and performed to relatives and friends at the Organ Inn and Christ Church over the weekend.

Festival treasurer Heather Abernethie said she was surprised and delighted with the response. “Some of the events I wouldn’t have expected to be so popular were full,” she said.

“It was a shame there weren’t a few more people to see the private collections and items people brought along for the Hidden Treasures exhibition at the library, as I thought it was particularly good.

“But most events were well attended and there was a fabulous finale.”

Among the professional performers were Bulgarian pianist Plamen Tsvetanov, Warminster harpist Cecilia Sultana De Maria and performance poets Lucy English, David Johnson and Hazel Hammond.

Other events included talks, films and vintage bus runs.

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