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Affiliated to the British & International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech

Important Dates


1 March 2022 - Closing date for entries to the Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts Speech, Drama and Music Festival 2022.

17th- 20th May 2022 - 2022 Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts Speech, Drama and Music Festival.

To celebrate the 70th festival in 1976 Robert Lantaff prepared a short history up to that date. A number of interesting events and developments have occurred since then which are well worth reporting and have therefore been included in this update (1996). Since the historical background obviously remains the same, I have merely included the original text with suitable amendments and additions.

In this series of articles, "I" refers to Robert Lantaff and the original copyright remains with him. These articles are repeated for anyone interested in the history of the Wharfedale Festival.


Wharfedale, along with many other festivals, has been fortunate enough to attract entries from a large number of excellent school orchestras, bands and instrumental groups. The performances gave striking proof of the excellent teaching which has taken place over the past few decades. Sadly, many schools have lost these facilities or have had them severely curtailed, but this festival is fortunate to receive continuing support from local schools and music centres.

A survey conducted a few years ago amongst the players in two of this country's leading orchestras, revealed that 70% of the musicians received their initial instrumental training under the schools music service. At a concert given by the B.B.C. Philharmonic in Leeds a few years ago, there were no fewer than seven Wharfedale Music Festival prize-winners playing in the orchestra.

Robert Lantaff (C) 1976 & 1996

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Festival Secretaries

General Secretary
Mrs Patricia Dibb
01943 865180


Speech & Drama Secretaries
Mrs Julie James
01943 433444

Mrs Elizabeth Whiteley
01943 830780

Piano Festival Secretary

Piano Festival Secretary


Piano Festival