|Brian Randall, Barbara Randall, John Wood, Derek Fripp and Hugh Morgan.|
Barbara and Brian Randall, who launched Wymondham Music Festival with a series of concerts in 1996 and have nurtured the festival into its position as a much loved and respected element of the Norfolk market town’s cultural life, have retired after 18 years at the helm.
Long serving former chairman, John Wood and treasurer, Derek Fripp have also retired from the festival committee. Derek’s successor as treasurer is Steph Homburg.
The festival began succession planning in 2012 and a new team of volunteers, led by Chairman Richard Elliott, is in place to run the 2015 festival and beyond.
The festival staged a special celebration evening at Central Hall on Friday, August 22, for friends and supporters, to mark the long service of Barbara and Brian Randall, John Wood, Derek Fripp and Hugh Morgan. Hugh has run the patrons’ scheme for many years and will be retiring at the end of March.
Councillor David Goldson, Chairman South Norfolk Council, who attended the event said: "I thank you sincerely for all you have done for your community and wish your successors luck."
Richard Elliott said: “The contributions of our retiring committee members are by any standard truly remarkable. In particular, the work of Barbara and John in planning and running the festival over so many years is extraordinary. I would like to thank Barbara, John, Brian, Derek and Hugh on behalf of everyone involved in the festival and the wider community, for developing such an exciting and inspiring annual musical extravaganza. They will be a hard act to follow, but we have some enthusiastic new volunteers on board who will deliver a quality event for Wymondham in 2015.”
“Brian Randall said: “We’re both leaving with very mixed feelings - we are sad to be bowing out of a fantastic adventure that has been so much a part of our lives. Looking back over 18 years, there have been many, many memories - urgent deadlines, much laughter, thousands of chairs moved, friendships kindled and, above all else, the music and the musicians who put the ‘Music’ into ‘Wymondham Music Festival’. From the young musicians in their first ever performance to famous stars, it’s been a privilege to have been involved with them and their art.”
Wymondham Music Festival Facts
1996 first Music Week established by Barbara and Brian Randall
1997 first Jazz Picnic, Derek Fripp joins the team as treasurer
1998 Lunchtime recitals and Market Place events launched; Hugh Morgan launches the Patrons scheme.
2000 John Wood becomes Chairman; first Town Busking Day.
2001 first Music Lecture
2008 Festival Fortnight established
2009 first Teddy Bears' Picnic
2014 John Wood retires as Chairman at February public meeting, Richard Elliott takes over as Chairman. Barbara and Brian Randall, John Wood and Derek Fripp retire in August.
Minutes of committee meetings from the last 18 years weigh 7.5kg.
Over the last 11 festivals, there have been 85 ticketed concerts at Wymondham Abbey, Baptist Church, Central Hall, Fairland Church Centre, Kett's Park, Wymondham High School, Wymondham Ex-Servicemen's Club and Kimberley Hall featuring classical, jazz, blues, folk, pop, rock and world music.