STAFFORD will be alive with music for the 13th annual music festival next month.
The two-week extravaganza features a wide range of genres and different levels.
Bands in the Stands shows are on the festival Saturdays and they join the 11 Keeping Music Live shows in local pubs as free events, making this festival something that can involve everyone of any age and musical taste.
"Stafford is thriving creatively," said festival chair Maureen Compton, "not just in music but in the arts generally. It's something to be proud of and excited by. People who think nothing much happens here just aren't looking or listening."
This year's event will showcase a large swathe of homegrown talent. There are concerts by several local choirs - Stafford Choral Society, Chetwynd, Cantemus, Second Time Around Singers, Chanteuse and the St Mary's Children's Choir and Music Group.
In addition to the regular appearance of the popular Manchester Camerata, three local orchestras are playing – Staffordshire Chamber Orchestra, The Stafford Orchestra and a new University Hospital Orchestra.
There's jazz from school bands and Marston's Pedigree Jazz Band, folk and early music.
"As well as showcasing local talent the festival has featured some top quality guest musicians," said Mrs Compton. "This year we welcome back Korean-born pianist Young Choon-Park who we discovered a few years ago and who has been an international success. She will be playing Beethoven, Schumann and Liszt in St Mary's."
The Stafford Music Festival is run independently by a team of volunteers.
Full details on the festival can be found on http://www.staffordmusicfestival.org/. Brochures are available at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre and in Libraries. Tickets from Stafford Gatehouse Theatre Box Office 01785 254653
Stafford Music Festival runs May 10-24.