A MUSIC festival in Weymouth went ahead at the weekend despite the extremely chilly weather conditions.

The combination of the Beast from the East with Storm Emma did little to discourage the keen musicians at the Weymouth and Dorset Music Festival, who performed at Budmouth College last Saturday.

Some of the event’s adjudicators were unable to travel to the event due to the ice and snow, however, the event’s organisers were determined to continue the festival and managed to get four locally-based professional musicians to step in and give feedback to the performers.

The four adjudicators were artistic advisor Duncan Honeybourne, Weymouth singer Sophia Grech, flautist Nikki Olson and Weymouth-based examiner and adjudicator Howard Evans.

Duncan Honeybourne said: “Howard should have been adjudicating a brass band championship in Yorkshire, but that was cancelled due to snow, so he was sitting at home in Weymouth and graciously agreed to brave the melting ice for us.

“On Friday I had my own doubts about pressing ahead from a safety angle but, as it turned out, the worst of the weather was behind us by Saturday morning and we ended up having a very special festival to remember, with a terrific spirit of camaraderie and almost all the solo entrants still attending. The pulling-together ethos of the Blitz was alive and well in Weymouth on Saturday, and we all had a great time!”

More than 70 musicians, including pianists, vocalists and accordion players, performed at the event and were given certificates and a written and verbal adjudication. One of the youngest composers was Ross Long, aged 14 from Weymouth, and the oldest performer was Fred McMillan aged 93. A number of the performers will take part in the festival concert tomorrow at Budmouth College.

Duncan Honeybourne said: “We’ll have a romantic favourite or two and a bit of jazz from one of our young pianists. There’ll be a real cross-section of our entrants, from all age groups and all parts of Dorset.”