The annual Pembrokeshire VALERO Primary School’s Music Festival was held in Haverfordwest at the weekend.

Over 400 young primary school musicians took part in this year’s event held at Sir Thomas Picton School on Saturday (March 22nd).

Organised by the Pembrokeshire County Council Music Service and sponsored by VALERO, individual performers and ensembles competed against each other in various competitions in the morning.

In the afternoon the winners performed in concert to a capacity audience, along with area orchestras and bands.

Judges picked pianist Emma Spence from Saundersfoot Primary School as the overall winner of the festival.

Earlier in the day she had won the Open Piano class playing a Chopin waltz. She is a pupil of Jan Hartzel.

The winner of the Open Brass competition was trombonist Rhiannon Andrasko from Tenby Junior School, who performed “Let’s call the whole thing off” accompanied by Miranda Davies.

The winner of the Open Woodwind class was flautist Bethan Miles from Lamphey Primary School, who played Pogson’s “When tomorrow comes” accompanied by Stuart Evans.

Cellist Rhys Lewis from Ysgol Glan Cleddau won the Open String competition and performed “Tarantella” by Squire. He was accompanied at the piano by Elizabeth Cawood.

The winner of the Open Percussion class was Sara Llewellyn from Neyland Primary School. On the xylophone, she performed “Pizzicato Polka” by Strauss accompanied at the piano by Melanie Walker.

The Saxophone Ensemble from Milford Haven Junior School won the ensemble competition and performed “Groovy Kind of Love” and “Pure love”.

“These competitions provide our young musicians with a valuable experience of performing to an appreciative and friendly audience of parents, teachers and friends,” said Chris Llewellyn, Head of the County Music Service.

“The large numbers of pupils who take part, coupled with the high standards of performance, demonstrate the strength of music in our primary schools and why Pembrokeshire continues to be one of the leading musical counties in Wales,” he said.

He added that the youngsters also benefited from the support and advice given to them by the adjudicators - Jacqui Scaife- Woodwind; Edward Burns – Ensembles; Karin Jenkins-Strings; Paul Israel -Piano ; Adrian Williams - Brass and Nick Baron- Percussion.

The family of schools groups who performed in the afternoon concert were: Pembroke Junior Schools’ Orchestra – Conductor Verity Evans. Tenby Area Junior Schools’ Orchestra - Conductors Rebecca Whitehurst and Colin Barratt. Cerddorfa Bro Waldo – Conductors John and Iris Thirkettle. Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Area String Orchestra – Conductor Elizabeth Cawood. St David’s Area Orchestra – Conductor Hilary Lewis. Bro Jemima Orchestra – Conductor Philippa Roberts. Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Area Wind Band – Conductor Hilary Lewis.

Stephen Thornton of Valero thanked students, parents and teachers for supporting this festival and making it such a great showcase event.