The Arun Young Musicians’ Festival was launched in 1981 with the support of the Rotary Club of Littlehampton and has gone on to showcase outstanding young talent every year, giving those young people the opportunity to gain valuable performance experience and receive feedback from experienced musicians. In its early days, the festival had just 30 youngsters taking part but now the festival has grown and attracts entrants to around 40 classes every year.
Within the Festival, these youngsters initially perform alongside each other in vocal and instrumental classes where they are adjudicated and awarded medals and certificates accordingly. These classes now cover all instruments and all levels of competence.
The 2017 Festival vocal classes were held during October 2017 and the performers chosen by the Adjudicator took part in the Gala Concert held in The Steyning Centre on Sunday 12 November 2017. James Dew on cello gave a rousing performance of Hungarian Rhapsody by David Popper and was chosen by the Adjudicator Richard Haslam as Arun Young Musician 2017. Kira Hyde, recorder, was the runner-up. James was also awarded the Raven Cup for best instrumentalist. There is more detail in the documents listed to the right.