Music fans were left dazzled as a music festival returned to a village near Oswestry, with visits at local schools and U3A.

After the internationally established Whittington Music Festival (May19 to May 22) players arrived in North Shropshire, they immediately started practicing for their intense sequence of seven concerts in four days.

And to prepare for the concerts, musicians visited Whittington CE Primary School where they played in front of 100 pupils from Whittington, Gobowen, Holy Trinity Primary School and The Meadows School in Oswestry.

The pupils in the audience are all learning instruments through local charity- Music Matters in Oswestry and the Borderlands (MusicMOB).

The festival's musical director Sophia Rahman explained in detail about all the instruments and the joy of being part of music groups. She then told the story of 'Ferdinand the Bull' which captivated both the pupils and the adults.

Border Counties Advertizer: Stars of the Festival. First night. From left to right Zoe and Idris accompanied by Artistic Director Sophia RahmanStars of the Festival. First night. From left to right Zoe and Idris accompanied by Artistic Director Sophia Rahman

Teacher Ben Griffiths of Gobowen Primary School said, “The children and adults alike were spellbound by the phenomenal talents of all the musicians."

The performers then moved along to the Oswestry Borders U3A (University of the Third Age) where they sang music by Boccherini, Manuel de Falla and the traditional Song of the Birds, alongside others. And they were thoroughly enjoyed by the audience, that then got the chance to ask questions about their music.

Pam Broomby, chairperson for U3A, said , “Oswestry Borders U3A welcomed back the Whittington Festival Musicians to their meeting on Wednesday. A pleasant afternoon was spent listening to the very talented musicians who presented an exploration of themes of war and peace.”

Then the musicians carried on with the Whittington Music Festival, on Thursday, May 19, where they had they opened with a 45 minutes tester in the afternoon, before the big first show.

A festival spokesman said that “This year’s Festival programme is built around the concept of transcending borders – so appropriate for our borderland community.

"It features several innovations, including jazz played today by Zoe and Idris Rahman on piano and clarinet respectively and lesser known but compelling works for voice or viola and piano by the British-American composer Rebecca Clarke."

Next step for the musicians is travelling to London for a concert to support and raise funds for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. This will take place on Wednesday, May 25, St Peter’s Church, Belsize Park London NW3 4HJ.

For more details and tickets visit Whittington Music Festival website.