Norfolk County Music Festival was founded in 1925 to encourage and support amateur music making, singing and teaching, throughout the county and beyond.

The Festival is a showcase for any type of instrument or singing: from school choirs, piano, strings, guitar, through to musical theatre, orchestras and rock bands. We provide a wonderful opportunity for learners at all levels to perform under concert conditions in front of a friendly audience. You benefit from hearing your fellow performers, receiving expert advice and gentle guidance (from adjudicators) on your performance.


When you learn an instrument or to sing, gaining the confidence to perform in front of others can take a long time. Taking exams in front of an examiner can be daunting. Entering the Festival gives you the chance to perform outside of exam conditions in front of a friendly audience. It’s a chance to move forward, be encouraged, inspired and receive helpful comments on how to develop your playing.


‘The Norfolk County Music Committee exists to encourage, develop and guide musical activity throughout the County of Norfolk’ This statement appeared in a programme for a performance of Handel’s Messiah at St Andrew’s Hall in December 1947 and formed part of the Committees aims for music in Norfolk. The same committee had responsibility for the administration of the Norfolk County Music Festival and, at the time of writing, plans for the Festival to be held in St Andrew’s Hall on 7th and 8th May 1948 were also announced. We are very pleased and proud that the Norfolk County Music Festival has continued to thrive throughout the years and grown considerably from two days in one venue to a Festival that now takes place over two weeks in five venues. For the 2016 Festival we have brought about a complete modernisation to our publicity, information and application process with our new website which we are confident will assist participation in the Festival. We are very aware that the Festival needs to appeal to the performers of today and encompass a wide range of musical genres but still hold fast to those underlying aims of encouragement and development that were expressed all those years ago.

Any Questions?

For further information about the Festival contact our Festival Manager Michelle Bagnall,, c/o 77 Gipsy Lane, Norwich, NR5 8AX, 07772 959689.SaveSave Save


The Festival runs from: Monday 10 to Friday 21 March 2025

Entry Fees 2025

  • Individual, duet or trio entries: £16.50
  • Small groups (up to 12 performers): £30
  • Medium groups (13 to 50): £40
  • Large groups (51 to 100): £65
  • Extra large groups (101 or more): £75
  • Whole Class Ensemble Tuition: £40
  • Recital Class: £22.50

Help with Transport Costs

We hope to be able to assist with the costs of transport for some rural/coastal schools, please contact us for further details.

Funding for School Choirs

School choirs who enter the festival will be considered for the David Capp Memorial Bursary, a fund awarded to the most promising choir to support extra singing tuition for teachers and pupils.  Click here to find out more

All instruments welcome!

Whatever instrument you play, we want you in the Festival! If your instrument isn’t listed, please select the ‘Other Instruments’ class and make sure you tell us what you are playing.

Own Choice

Music performed in the Festival is your Own Choice except the Gwendoline Lee prize in piano. Contact us for details of the music to be performed in this fun competition.  


Tickets will be available on the door. 

Shorten Cup

The Shorten Cup was given by Arthur Shorten as the founder of the Festival for instrumental chamber music to encourage small ensemble playing. The Cup will be presented to a winning group as decided by an adjudicator. The instrumental class will be selected and announced when all Festival entries have been received.

Closing date for entries

To be confirmed, but we encourage you to enter the Festival as early as possible. Upon submitting your entry, you will receive an email confirmation. Please check your details (or those of your participants) carefully and contact us if there are any errors or you do not receive a confirmation. From Feb (onward) – We’ll notify you of your exact date, approximate time, venue of performance and further details.

“I’ve really seen my students’ confidence grow from entering the Festival. Performing in lovely venues in front of other schools and parents just gives them such a sense of pride and achievement. ‘We have valued the adjudicators feedback which has helped us progress as a performing choir.’”


Singing teacher, choirs.

“I only have a keyboard at home, so entering the festival gives me the chance to play in front of my parents, on a top-of-the-range Steinway Piano. It sounds amazing.”


Aged 17, Piano.

“Performing in the Festival was great – I really enjoyed the chance to perform my Grade 7 piece ahead of my exam and the comments from the friendly clarinet expert were very helpful”


Aged 16, Clarinet.

“I was a bit scared of singing in front of people, but we all went and it was really fun, we got a certificate too”


Aged 8, Singing.