The Lagan Festival Speech, Drama, Art and Song committee members (back row) Catherine Gardiner. Mary Jane Carswell, Richard gardiner, Susan Noble, Kathleen Phillips and Marie 0'Sullivan, (front row) Deputy Mayor, Brian Heading, Festival Chair, Lynne Webber, Festival Patrons, June Burgess and Martin Lynch
THE inaugural Lagan Festival of Speech, Drama, Art and Song has proved to be a great success.
The organising committee was delighted not only with a packed competition, with over 650 entries, but the relaxed and fun atmosphere that carried on through the event.
Festival Secretary Catherine Gardiner said: "We couldn't have asked for more, wonderful challenging performances, fantastic Art and a positive and motivating atmosphere throughout."
Playwright and Patron of the Lagan Festival, Martin Lynch spoke enthusiastically about the benefits of the competition for the young talent at the Festival launch.
Fellow Patron, successful local businesswoman, June Burgess added: "I know that I gained skills that I still use today when I attended these competitions in my youth, I am fully in support of this new Festival, the energy of the organisers is evident, I am confident that they will continue to invest in the lives of these young performers for years to come."
Deputy Mayor Brian Heading attended the launch evening, which had a number of short performances including special guest and classical music star, Eugene O'Hagan from The Priests, talented local Harpist Mairead Duffy and Marie O'Sullivan of Tosini (Teachers of Singing in Ireland), also a founding committee member of the Lagan Festival.
The Festival Chair, Lynne Webber sincerely thanked the sponsors, without whom the festival would not have been possible, including The Bank of Ireland, Soroptomists International Lisburn Branch, FGS McClure Watters and host venue, The Beechlawn House Hotel, who have welcomed the event to their annual events calendar.
The Lagan Festival Committee recognised a gap in the market for a refreshing new approach to Festival Competition and Lynne concluded: "We are delighted with the success of this new venture, our plans to grow and improve next years event are already being discussed."
Neil Shawcross, local artist; Paul Deegan and Ann Warr, Festival Adjudicators, June Burgess, Lagan Festival Patron, Brian Heading SDLP, Deputy Mayor and Martin Lynch, Lagan Festival Patron and Playwright
The Lagan Festival Speech, Drama, Art and Song Launch event included a Tosini representative with Eugene O'Hagan from the The Priests; Local Harpist Mairead Duffy and also Tosini Representative & Commitee Member Marie O'Sullivan