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Our special 130th Festival has come to a close during which we also celebrated the bicentenary of the birth of Mrs Susan Sunderland. We had the privilege of Wendy Maas and Charlotte Arculus attending our Last Night Concert. Wendy being Mrs Susan Sunderland’s great, great granddaughter and Charlotte being her great, great, great granddaughter.

The Festival drew in excess of 4,000 performers with constant feedback from the adjudicators that the standard of performance was exceedingly high. It is also noteworthy that performers increasingly came from greater distances with The Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir, Peterborough and Nelson choirs making a huge impact to the final Saturday and Last Night Concert.
Other highlights being:-

• “Sing Hallelujah with the Huddersfield Choral Society”. A Workshop and public performance of elements from Handel’s Messiah. A 200+ choir for the performance who were accompanied by the Musica Kirklees Orchestra. Workshop Leader Gregory Batsleer.
• ‘Schools Valentine’s Day Workshop and Concert’, with Musica Kirklees. 1,000 children had an amazing time at the Workshop with 300 returning in the evening to perform in a packed Concert Hall.
• ‘Special Needs Workshop’, with the Dark Horse Theatre. An amazing event where the power of music and dance brings joy to these wonderful children and is clearly visible. All Special Needs Schools in Kirklees attended the event.
• ‘Music for the Brain Tea Dance’. New for 2019 and in conjunction with The Alzheimer’s Society was a huge success. In excess of 60 people attended, enjoyed tea and cake, sang and danced to music provided by Musica Kirklees. The event exceeded all expectations and will now become a regular part of our Festival.
• ‘Kirklees Young Musician’ for 2019 is cellist Will Robertson. Adjudicator Steven Roberts complimented Will on his high standard of performance.
• ‘The Last Night Concert’ included the World Premiere of Will Todd’s ‘When Music Sounds’ Choral Suite performed by The Huddersfield Choral Society with Will Todd performing and conducting from the piano. A real piece of history for our special commemorations.

We move on now to our 131st Festival, planning having already started!

Our aim ‘to promote education and development within the arts for the benefit of the community’ remains as valid now as when it was written 130 years ago. It could be argued that our aims are even more relevant in modern times when opportunities for performance and development are becoming increasingly scarce.

The Festival is a Registered Charity and ran entirely by unpaid volunteers. If you would like further details or are interested in being part of it, do please contact us.