Henley Youth Festival launches its 2014 programme this week. School representatives and volunteers will attend an open meeting when the full programme of workshops for schools, performing arts opportunities and details about the 2014 HYF theme - Heroes - will be revealed.
“Many aspects of HYF have a fresh new look this year,” explains Joint Chairperson Lucie Henwood. “Through events in school time older children will experience Shakespeare’s The Tempest through the vibrant Young Shakespeare Company and we hope younger children will be captivated by the Finger & Thumb Shadow Theatre. Original art workshops, including Fire the Inventor and a cartoonist, will be delivered primarily within schools with something for each Key Stage. The hotly contested Stonor Run for primary schools is still there but this year there will also be a new Stonor Run event for secondary school teams.”
Many new sponsors have stepped in this year; Henley-based branding and design agency Thought by Design have created the new HYF website – supported for many years by Signals. Financial planners OakTree Wealth Management have this year sponsored the printing of the HYF programme. Established sponsors HEDFAS are continuing to support the art workshops in schools and Henwood & Dean continue to support Gig Night. Many other local businesses have been approached to support the Festival and demonstrate how they are ‘sticking up for young people’ by displaying a window sticker.
“Performing arts has also had a partial makeover,” explains Lucie. “Five Kenton events have been reduced to four; The HYF Proms, HYF Sing, HYF Entertain and HYF Dance. Senior musicians who apply to perform at The HYF Proms at the Kenton Theatre will be invited to a special pre-proms workshop at the Christchurch Centre directed by local conductor and international ABRSM Examiner Chris Walker and concert pianist and accompanist Anita D’Attelis. For the first time singers will have the opportunity to work with Ben Goodson – choir master for Henley Choral Society to create a massed HYF choir. Junior Proms, which allows the youngest singers and musicians to show off their talents will take place at Shiplake College for the first time.”
Young people are also getting more involved behind the scenes. Student sound technicians and assistant stage managers will help at the Kenton evenings. Student Daisy Bayliss is co-producing Gig Night and student Amber Bartlett created the original design for the HYF 2014 programme.
The Open Meeting will take place at D:two next to the Town Hall on Tuesday 14th January from 7.30pm. School reps, volunteers and potential volunteers all welcome. Programmes will be available through schools, libraries, churches and the Henley Standard offices from next week. Full details at www.hyf.org.uk.