For 2005, the opening concert was to feature Guy Johnston (cello) and Tom Poster (piano). Unfortunately, Guy was unwell, so Tom gave a recital of works by Bach, Turnage, Beethoven, Chopin, Fauré and Schumann to a packed audience.
The second concert was given by the violin virtuoso Ralph Allin and friends. In the first half they gave an unusual take on traditional string music (from Hungarian fiddle to well-known television themes woven into Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, even featuring two people playing one 'cello at the same time!). After the interval, the scene changed to electric strings, with a range of jazz numbers of which Stephane Grapelli would have been proud.
The concert series closed with the North Cotswold Chamber Choir, singing Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzer and Bernstein's West Side Story Choral Suite. The Festival Concert featured some fantastic local talent and was introduced by Stuart Taylor (a dedicated committee member for many years) and was adjudicated by Simon Lole (Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral).
A new award was introduced this year, the "William Bailey Award", for the most outstanding folk performance. Two "fringe events" were well received, "meet the artist", Irene George (whose paintings from The Yellow Hat tribe were in exhibition in the Theatre Gallery), and "meet the author", Christabel Burniston (Life in a Liberty Bodice & The Brass and the Velvet).
Opposite: Award winners and some performers in the 2005 Festival Concert