HENLEY Youth Festival’s two-week extravaganza starts on Monday.
Now in its 21st year, the festival has the theme of “Heroes” and will involve 48 events, mostly at schools.
There will be performing arts showcases, sports and arts workshops and competitions for art, writing, film and photography. Artists, drama groups and sports coaches will be giving demonstrations in schools.
Festival co-chairwoman Lucie Henwood said: “The youth festival reaches out to every single young person in Henley. That’s from pre-school age right through to tertiary college.
“What has been wonderful this year is getting more young people involved in running the festival. If you have got an interest in being part of your community and helping and learning on the job, the youth festival will find something for you to do.”
Out of school, children can sign up for workshops on hockey, cricket, judo, tae kwon do, fencing and disco dancing.
Entries for the junior and senior arts competitions will be exhibited at Henley Youth Centre in Deanfield Avenue from March 14 to 16. Prizes will be awarded at 3pm on the final day.
There will be four performances at the Kenton Theatre, including the festival proms for classical musicians on March 12. There will also be a singers’ night for soloists, duets and small acoustic groups on March 15.
Also on March 15 at the theatre there will be a singing workshop led by Benjamin Goodson, musical director of Henley Choral Society.
On March 13, the Kenton will host a variety show featuring singers, dancers, drama, comedy, poetry and performance art. This is open to all ages, as is a dedicated dance showcase at the theatre on March 14.
On March 8, there will be a gig night at Henley Youth Centre for bands in year 9 and above. Younger musicians can take part in the festival’s junior proms, which take place at Shiplake College on March 9.
The festival is run by volunteers and funded entirely by sponsorship. There will be collections at each event in aid of the Henley Skate Park Initiative.
Programmes are available at schools, libraries, churches and the Henley Standard offices.