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FESTIVALS - Parkside Singers of Ampthill

Parkside Singers of Ampthill have competed in the Bedfordshire Festival of Music Speech & Drama for 4 years BC (= Before Covid), and for 2 years afterwards. We look forward to future Festivals.

            Our recent years BedMus Festivals...

 2024   Bedfordshire Festival of Music. (Class 13) COMMENDED

 2023   Bedfordshire Festival of Music. (Class 13) PLACED 2nd

 2022   Bedfordshire Festival of Music. (Class 13) FIRST

 2021   No Festival - COVID

 2020   Bedfordshire Festival of Music. (Class 13) PLACED 2nd

 2019   Bedfordshire Festival of Music. (Class 13) DISTINCTION  

 2018   Bedfordshire Festival of Music. (Class 13) COMMENDED

 2017   Bedfordshire Festival of Music. (Class 13) PLACED 2nd COMMENDED

The Bedfordshire Festival of Music Speech & Drama 2023

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Bedford Festival of Music, Speech and Drama 2022:  Class No. 13: Community Choir

        Performers: Parkside Singers of Ampthill


Adjudicator’s Comments/Feedback


Like a Rainbow Shining

Sopranos, what a lovely delicate first entry, and how well you warmed the sound and made the phrase grow and colour!  When the lower voices joined you, the full choral sound was attractive, well balanced and very well modulated.  Throughout, your words came across with considerable clarity.


Last Night of the World

Gentlemen, you started the performance with a nice relaxed warmth of choral tone though the rhythm could have been just a shade more unified (the odd voice moved off the syncopation easily in bar 10 for instance).  The whole piece gelled very well and grew to a fine climax before sequeing into:


Bui Doi

This was a well judged performance with the storyline being told with precision.  The connected choral sections were well balanced and, from bar 46, you really showed what you were made of, as you sang unaccompanied.  This was a stirring performance.  Thank you.


Christopher Field (adjudicator)  5/3/22


Placed:            1

Category:        Commended

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After 2 years of Covid, Lock-Down, and Zoom rehearsals we finally got singing together again LIVE last July. During that enforced diaspora the leadership of Dave and especially Helen kept the choir together until we were ready to sing as a choir again. We were rusty and breathless. Then we had an objective to aim for and focus upon. With 6 months of rehearsal we have taken three well-chosen songs and learned to sing them. Sing them well enough to wow an audience of SINGERS, and enough to impress an adjudicator. We sang with commitment, diction and concentration. The choir thank James for his accompaniment and Andy for his saxy bits. Above all we thank Dave and Helen for direction, encouragement and insiration. AND.... VERY WELL DONE CHOIR  for a superbly exected festival programme. We WON. We deserved to. The whole choir can be justifiably very pleased and proud. And a special thank you to those who could not attend on 5th March, but have sung with us and helped the performers learn and prepare the pieces.

The Bedfordshire Festival of Music Speech & Drama 2020


MD's  email from 9th March 2020

Dear Chorister

First of all we need to acknowledge what a wonderful collective effort we all put in over the past months that led the choir to such great performance on Saturday.  No one prouder in that Hall than myself.  Thank you for your support of the Music team.

Once again - a great night for the Choir, and the response in the Hall to our three songs was tremendous and well-deserved.


David Stott

Extract from Adjudicator’s Comments (BFMSD 2020) the last before Covid

Flying Free
A beautiful legato line and attractive phrasing.  Good use of dynamics.  The tone is generally warm and free.  Work hard at the diction – consonants need more crispness.   However, free vowels throughout.  What a beautiful piece – thank you for bringing this.

Castleford Ladies
Much better diction here.  A fun song with some effective storytelling.

African Prayer
This needs a stronger opening.  Keep breath low and project!  However secure tuning and well-balanced part singing.  Again good use fo dynamics.  Keep the energy up at the end of phrases.  Powerful ending.  Bravo!   

FESTIVAL - The Bedford Festival of Music Speech & Drama 2019

Extract from Adjudicator’s Comments (BFMSD 2019)

Fields Of Gold
One of my favourite songs, beautifully and sensitively sung.  Your balance and ensemble are lovely and your use of dynamics effective.  

All Through The Night
Beautiful "pp" at the beginning of this!  Another sensitive and expressive performance that built beautifully.  You achieve a lovely balance and this was charming.

O Sing Unto The Lord
A great contrast here to finish your delightful concert.  You sang with an energetic rhythm and crisp diction.  I really admire what you do – any chance your forte could be even more loud and thrilling?

A delightful concert of varied and well thought out repertoire.

Category D                     (D = Distinction - An excellent performance technically and artistically)

Sarah Jeffrey (Adjudicator)


FESTIVAL - The Bedford Festival of Music Speech & Drama 2018

Extract from Adjudicator’s Comments (BFMSD 2018)

Tell Me It’’s Not True
A lovely sound at the outset – well-supported ‘oohs’ and clear diction: you colour individual words and sing with ease.  Be careful with the odd outstanding voice in the Sopranos in the uppermost notes.  The modulation is magical and your richness comes forward.  Work on the blend of vices and balance – work a little at the crescendo at the end – don’t let the ff hit us.  But a lovely sense of drama is achieved. 

Londonderry Air

A lovely contrast – positiveness in singing, controlled and figured.  Positive in the 4-part harmony – be careful Sopranos to really blend.  You achieve a clarity and sincerity in your singing – positive unison control.  You make us listen, lovely quiet dynamic control.  You watch your conductor very well, and try to follow his every signal.  A lovely shaped close.

Battle Hymn

A nice rhythmical feeling – a sense of marching and movement.  Good 4-part harmony.  The T/B verse with ‘oohing’ in the ladies serves to strengthen this section and is effective.  Positive dynamic contrasts and good word painting.  Keep those uppermost notes under control Sopranos.  Centre your breathing a little more to achieve the big sound that you are capable of.  A rousing performance

Well Done

Steven Roberts (Adjudicator)


FESTIVAL - The Bedford Festival of Music Speech & Drama 2017

The Parkside Singers of Ampthill made their competition debut at the 2017 Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama on Sunday March 5th 2017. 


The choir competed against five other Bedfordshire choirs in the Community Choir Class.


Our performance of "Tears In Heaven" (by Eric Clapton), Taverner's "The Lamb", and "African Prayer" (enoch Sontonga)  rightly earned them the biggest ovation of the night from a packed Bedford Corn Exchange. 


We were just pipped for the trophy by a smaller Ladies choir, but were delighted with runner’s up spot and a Commendation from the adjudicator.  WELL SUNG ALL!

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