Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Carnival time at youth festival

CHOIRS from four schools will perform together at the Henley Youth Festival this

CHOIRS from four schools will perform together at the Henley Youth Festival this month, writes Emma Clark Lam.

Year 5 pupils at Trinity, Sacred Heart, Valley Road School and Badgemore primaries will take part in separate workshops led by beatbox performer Randolph Matthews before coming together to perform en masse at the festival’s Sing event at the Kenton Theatre on the evening of March 18.

The festival, now in its 23rd year, offers art, music, performance and sporting activities for young people aged four to 18 and will take place from March 12 to 20.

This year’s theme is “Carnival” in celebration of the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

Lucie Henwood, a trustee of the festival, said: “It has been a bit of a coup to get Randolph Matthews to take part. The performance will involve many more young people, many of whom have never set foot in the theatre before.”

The festival will also feature a multimedia dance show that will be developed at school workshops led by Victoria Porter, of DanceDesign Choreography.

A selection of dancers from local primary schools and Gillotts School will take part in the performance at the Dance event on the evening of Saturday, March 19 at the Kenton.

The festival’s team of young film-makers will record the final rehearsal and produce edited footage to be used as a backdrop during the main performance.

Jo Dickson, who co-chairs the festival, says: “It will be a great opportunity for parents to see what we are doing with the children in the workshops that we run in local schools during the festival week.”

A series of carnival-themed workshops will be held at the Chiltern Centre on Saturday, March 12 (11am to 3pm), tailored to meet the needs of disabled children and young adults. These will include sessions on making headdresses and masks plus a musical workshop with a samba  percussionist.

Other events include:

Saturday, March 12

9.30am to 12pm: Henley Youth Festival Run, formerly known as the Stonor Run, which will take place at Swiss Farm this year.

6pm to 10.30pm: Gig Night at Lovibonds brewery, off Greys Road car park, featuring local bands, DJs and soloists.

Sunday, March 13

11am to 4pm: Junior Proms at Shiplake College.

Wednesday, March 16

7pm to 9.30pm: Proms at the Kenton Theatre.

Thursday, March 17

7pm to 9.30pm: Entertain at the Kenton Theatre.

Friday, March 18

6.45pm to 7.30pm: Sing with Randolph Matthews at the Kenton Theatre.

8pm to 9pm: Sing part 2 featuring the Henley Youth Choir and individual performers at the Kenton Theatre.

Saturday, March 19

1pm to 3pm: Young Dancer at the Kenton Theatre.

7pm to 9.30pm: Dance, a multimedia experience with a range of different performers, at the Kenton Theatre.

Prize-giving for writing competition.

Sunday, March 20

2.30pm to 3.30pm: Prize-giving for art, photography and film competition.

An exhibition of entries will be shown at the River and Rowing Museum’s Education Centre from 11am to 4.30pm on Saturday, March 19 and from 11am to 2.30pm on Sunday, March 20.

For more information, visit or follow it at #HYF2016 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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