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

113th Wharfedale Festival Performing Arts, May and June 2019

As ever this popular tri-annual event started with verse speaking classes for children and adults held at the Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley. Some of the younger classes were so oversubscribed that they needed to be split for ease of adjudication and adult groups were well represented in verse speaking.

Solo Characterisation was very popular this year and young Alfie Davis, with his rendition of the “Porridge Trauma Incident” by Eleanor McCloud, was the winner in his class. He will go forward as the WFPA representative for speech and drama at the Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire Championship to be held at Leeds College of Music on September 5th this year.

Darcey Hutchinson excelled in the year 6 and under Pubic Speaking class  with her talk on why people should holiday in Yorkshire (Tourist Board please take note!) and we had some outstanding theatrical performances including choral speaking from Burley Oaks Primary School who also won in their Musical Theatre section. Upstage Academy Intermediates gained ‘outstanding’ with their “Dear Diary” sketches illustrating the events of Izzie’s life, using her as lead and employing choral responses. Isabella Withy also won the Wharfedale Bursary to attend the Betty Jaeger Summer School to extend her studies. In the Musical Theatre section, CC Dance Company in Shipley were awarded outstanding for their performance of ‘Les Miserables’  which adjudicator Callie Foster said had sent tingles down her back.

Wednesday morning featured the ‘Music Makers’ session in the Conservatory where children from all around our area with special or additional needs performed using any combination of instruments or voices. The morning finished with a picnic, before they returned to school for the end of the day.  YAMSEN, with whom we work to provide this performance platform, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the Wharfedale Festival will be supporting their special day at the King’s Hall in Ilkley on 2 July. The concert is dedicated this year to the memory of Ann Gilliam, a much loved and faithful supporter of Yamsen who died recently. The audience will hear performers of all ages demonstrating what they have been practising in schools ready for this end of term musical cornucopia. We thank our sponsors who help us support this worthy concert.

Thursday’s events were generously hosted by Westville House School, who allowed their hall to be used as the venue for ‘the Big Sing’ organised by Sophie Thiruchelvam of the Leeds Music Service. The lively morning was followed by an afternoon of young musicians with Emma Robinson on flute winning the Dick Kitching Trophy and subsequently the Patricia Price trophy for the most promising solo musician in all classes. The evening entertainment moved back to the King’s Hall for the Steel Bands’ performances where the adjudicator, John Pomphrey, said how impressed he had been by the notation developed to teach the children by Victoria Jaquiss, Leeds music teacher and graduate in Russian. Her students are part of her extended family and having worked their way through her different levels of steel band return later simply to join in the fun.

The final morning was devoted to the choirs where Wakefield Girls won both Year 4 and Year 6 and under classes with Moorfield School winning the Junior Ensemble category.

The Town Council Celebration and Awards Concert that evening in the Winter Garden was well attended with support from the retiring Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Zafar Ali and retiring Ilkley Mayor Steve Butler but also from the newly installed Ilkley Mayor Cllr. Mark Stidworthy with representatives of outgoing and incoming officials. The assembled guests, sponsors and supporters enjoyed a glass of wine before witnessing Margaret Smith, a well known and loved member of many Ilkley committees, being presented with her badge for 40 years work on behalf of the Wharfedale committee. There followed a concert of many talented performers which also included young dancer Kessia- Rose Hadfield-Walker, winner of the November Dance Bursary and Morvern Scrivener, winner of last October’s Wharfedale  Festival Piano Bursary. The evening concluded with the judging of the Barbershop competition which was won by ‘In Cahoots’.

The committee would like to thank all those volunteers who helped us on the box office or as stewards at the festival. We are grateful to you all for your hard work and patience. We would also like to thank Westville House school for hosting the ’Big Sing’  and all our supporters and sponsors who help to keep us afloat. A big thank you finally must go to Julie James and Lizzie Whiteley for their superb organisation of the whole thing.

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

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