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

Important Dates


16th August 2019 - Closing date for the Piano Festival section of the Wharfedale Festival section.

8th September 2019 - Closing date for entries into The Dance Championship.

15th-17th October 2019 - The Piano Festival will take place in the Christchurch Sanctuary on The Grove.

2nd-3rd, 9th-10th November 2019 - The Wharfedale Festival's Dance Championship including our heat of Miss Dance 2019 to be held in Guiseley Theatre, Guiseley.


rotating piano imageReport on the Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts: 111th Festival of Piano and Song held at Christchurch Ilkley, October 19 -21, 2017

We were delighted to welcome the President of the Federation of National and International Festivals, Mrs Margaret Venables, to join us for our Festival opening, accompanied by Mr Aubrey Venables, Chair of Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire region. Seated amidst a sea of small performers, they were able to enjoy piano duets and trios and a selection of young vocal solos before the day ended with solo piano recitals from more experienced performers.

The Friday started with a non-competitive class on piano from pupils up to 7 years old who received enormous encouragement and praise from our adjudicator, Dr Vivienne Pike, telling them that they were all “on their way to being superb musicians”. In addition to the praise, there were also hints on how to remember the various technical terms in an amusing way to help their playing.

The day was a mixture of styles and ages on the piano and at each point Dr Pike made a comment about the well chosen pieces and their suitability for the ages of the performers, stressing the importance of fluency, dynamics and finger work in their playing.

Many of the vocal classes were held on the Saturday, where the younger performers (and the audience) were again entertained by Dr Pike’s variety of exercises aimed at increasing the flexibility of the tongue along with ways of projecting a voice and creating character in singing. Throughout the day, we had a variety of ages and some brilliantly moving performances from our singers performing ‘Songs from the Shows’ and extracts from operas but also later, from  our more mature pianists who ended the afternoon by giving us some very polished recitals.

We were lucky enough to be supported on Saturday by more Officers from the Federation of Festivals in the persons of our retiring area representative Michael Hampshire and his wife, who brought his replacement, Jill Wright from Skipton, to meet us. At the evening Awards Concert this trend of support continued when the Chair of the Parish Council, Councillor Stephen Roberts and his Consort joined us, with our Vice President Sir James Hill, to present prizes. We were again thrilled to have Adam Cox and his family with us to present the prestigious Cavendish Trophy and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for providing such a magnificent piano to the festival completely free of charge. In a year when costs to hire venues and pay for adjudicators’ fees, food and accommodation have risen substantially, this was especially welcome.

We would like to thank everyone who helped us by taking part, listening and stewarding as well as our ‘Friends’ and advertisers who support us financially, but a very big thank you must also go to Stefania at the Avanti Coffee house in Ilkley who remained open to feed those of us who were there all day and evening.

This was a wonderful festival and thanks are due to everyone involved, especially Evelyn van Terheyden and her hard working team. Our next event now is the Dance Championship at Guiseley Theatre on the weekends of November 4/5 and 11/12 which showcases talent in performers of all ages and in all varieties of Dance. Everyone is welcome to join us there.

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

Mrs Evelyn van Terheyden
11, Oaklands,
Westwood Drive,
Ilkley. LS29 9RE

Telephone: 01943 600470
Mobile: 07951 533653


Piano Festival

Dance Championship


Mrs Ivy Wailes
Highfield House
184 Walton Park
Harrogate HG3 1RJ

Telephone: 01423 870616
Mobile: 07503150502 


Dance Championship

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The Duke of York Community Initiative Award