Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts - Speech & Drama LogoReport on 112th  May Festival: Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts, Ilkley   

Another busy Wharfedale week concluded at the Craiglands last week with the ‘Music Makers’ class for children with special needs from all over the area, playing instruments and performing for an audience. Run by YAMSEN, this morning gave the opportunity for them to treat the listeners to pieces prepared in school over the previous months and to take a well earned bow. The ensuing picnic ensured a very positive end to a lovely morning.

The event had been foreshadowed the previous week by a drama morning for young adults with additional needs who experienced an acting workshop organised for them by the Mind the Gap Theatre Company in Bradford. This took the form of warm up games and exercises, followed by the performance of two short plays to a delighted audience, causing tremendous fun.

The week had started with increased numbers of entries for the speech and drama classes which meant using two rooms continuously for two days to incorporate the performers and their audiences. We heard some outstanding work, the Harry Potter prepared prose section being especially worthy of mention in children of year 6, where everyone was capable of mesmerising the audience. The public speaking classes were again entertaining and were followed by performances by theatre groups for two complete evenings where it was interesting to see the development of skills through the various age groups, the senior end being extremely professional.

The second half of the week took us to the King’s Hall for the musical classes. The choir workshop, run by Sam Dunkley, was very successful with the children responding well to his sense of humour and performing an all action mini concert at the end. This was followed by young instrumentalists on violin, trumpet, clarinet, trombone and guitar and then by a most enjoyable steel bands evening, attended by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Doreen Lee, who posed with the bands for photographs.

The week concluded with the morning choir competitions and an afternoon of ensembles, which produced some very pleasing audience comments about the smooth organisation of the day and the pleasure they had felt in listening.

At the final concert and awards ceremony held in the Winter Garden as part of the Parish Council Evening, an invited audience enjoyed reception drinks and heard the barbershop competition before seeing a presentation by the committee to Chair Blanche Woollin on her retirement..not for good, as she agreed to assume the role of Lifetime President of the Wharfedale. We were all happy to have been able to share this special evening with so many dignitaries, members of the Federation of Festivals and fellow volunteers.  It was a lovely evening: thank you to everyone who made this and the 112th festival week possible.

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


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