Latest News

2018 FESTIVAL 4th to 24th FEBRUARY 2018
The 129th Festival is complete and all of the feedback received indicates that it has been a real success. It is as well to record what has been achieved whilst it is in our minds:-

• 4,000 people performed during the Festival receiving constructive verbal and written feedback from Adjudicators who proved to be very popular with performers. Many smiling faces, particularly from children going home with trophies!
• ‘Opera For All’ Workshop and Concert attracted over 150 performers who rehearsed with Thom Meredith and The Musica Youth Orchestra and then gave a public performance. A sense of joy and achievement was very evident.
• ‘The Mighty Sky’ Children’s Workshop and Concert attracted over 800 children, with 350 taking part in a sell-out public concert later in the day. Again the leader was Thom Meredith along with his Musica Youth Orchestra. The atmosphere was simply electric.
• A ‘Special Needs Workshop’ was again well supported and this year ran in conjunction with the Dark Horse Theatre. 6 Special Needs Schools took part
• The ‘2018 Kirklees Young Musician Competition was won by pianist Henry Cash. All entrants were of the highest standard.
• Over 400 vocalists in classes ranging from Walt Disney to Pop Ballads and German Leider recitals.
• Speech and drama classes from 5 to 90 year olds performing humorous verse to the very popular dialect classes.
• More junior, youth and adult choirs than previously at the festival.

At the Last Night of the Festival Concert the enthusiastic audience heard from the following trophy winners:-

• The 2018 Kirklees Young Musician of the year; pianist Henry Cash
• Humorous verse ( year 4 and under); Henry Preece
• Piano Solo Chopin; Yuan Xu
• String Solo; Xiana Harran
• German Leider; Catie Sambrook
• The magic of Walt Disney; Tom Davies

In addition the Adult Choir Challenge included six winning choirs from classes during the day.  The Choir Challenge was won by The Chanterelles, second was the Peterborough Male Voice Choir and third was Penistone Ladies Choir.
With Malcolm Hinchcliffe on the organ the Concert and the Festival ended with the traditional rousing singing of Jerusalem and the National Anthem.

We now proceed to the 130th Annual Festival in 2019 which is also the bicentenary of the birth of Mrs Sunderland and the very special events being planned.

The festival is a registered charity and organised entirely by unpaid volunteers who do this not for thanks or recognition, but because they believe it is worthwhile.



Very sad to report that our President Jessie Jameson died on the 26th July 2017 after a long illness.

Jessie contributed hugely to our Festival for many years serving as a very effective Chair and receiving an Honorary Life Membership in recognition for her contribution.

Our condolences go to her husband Ron