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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.

The festival opened on Tuesday Morning with two non competitive classes featuring young performers aged between five and seven. “A lovely way to start the day” was Adjudicator Marilynne Davies’ comment as she praised their confidence and checked their understanding of technical terms. In a feature which has become her festival trademark, she then trained them in speaking out clearly and bowing to show respect for their audience before instructing them to bow to accept the “tumultuous applause” we in the audience were about to give them. Stars of the section were the tiny children who dressed like concert performers and played as if they had eleven fingers!

The day continued with solos, duos, and trios in the morning, then Recital classes in the afternoon with those up to year 6 and performers up to year 10 in the evening. Comments from the Adjudicator became a little more complicated as the level of skill rose but in each class she praised their use of balance and dynamic range, checking their understanding of terms and again training them in receiving applause without appearing at all patronising towards the youngsters.

Wednesday was for more advanced students giving recitals from grades 3 to 8 with a corresponding increase in the level of musical terminology from Mrs Davies, who added that the performances demonstrated a very high level of teaching in the area Ilkley. It was unusual in festivals, she observed, for students to be offered the opportunity to give recitals at such young ages and it was much to be commended.

Thursday evening classes celebrated performers of 18 and below where we were treated to a much more advanced level of playing which included a Bach Prelude and Fugue, a Beethoven Sonata, Arabesque No 1 from Debussy and an exciting performance from a Diploma holder whose Ravel “Jeux d’Eau” was a fluent and very impressive way to conclude the evening.

Marilynne Davies said the festival had been a joy with fine performances from all classes. On this, the fourth year of the WFPA October Piano Festival, she gave thanks to Evelyn van Terheyden and her team of volunteers for their hard work and observed that the decision to move it to October had allowed it to go from strength to strength.

Pat Dibb

General Secretary, WFPA

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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