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THE 99th Taunton and Somerset Music and Drama Festival kicks off today (November 12) with music classes at Queen’s College and speech and drama classes at the Temple Methodist Church, Taunton.

The syllabus has had an excellent response with increased entries in all music disciplines, particularly brass and woodwind.

The first round of the seventh Taunton Young Musician of the Year competition, which has attracted 19 entries, will take place during the week of the festival.

The second and final round is staged at Queen’s Hall on Sunday, January 20, 2013.

Seven accomplished adjudicators, all members of the British and International Federation of Festivals, will travel to Taunton to offer help and encouragement.

Programmes are now available from Gillian Greig Music and family, friends and members of the public are invited to join the audience.

Nominal admission charges will be payable at the door for the festival.

A showcase concert featuring many prize winners from this year’s festival will take place on Sunday, November 25, at 3pm at the Temple Methodist Church.

Tickets are available at the festival or from Gillian Greig Music on 01823-333317. The festival will run until Saturday, November 17.