The Huddersfield Mrs Sunderland Festival is the modern marketing name for the Mrs Sunderland Competition, first held in 1889 to honour and celebrate the career of the famous Victorian soprano Susannah Sunderland (nee Sykes). Since then the ongoing success of the competition has been reliant on gifts and donations, and more recently legacies, to further its work for the community.   

We are a charity, run entirely by unpaid volunteers, focussing on education within the arts for the benefit of the whole community, and children in particular as we recognise the importance of engaging them with musical and dramatic performance. Recent innovations include Children’s Workshops attended by around 900 children from local schools, and Workshops for Special Needs Schools. The reaction of children to music and dance is truly heart-warming. New in 2019 was “Music for the Brain Tea Dance” which has now been further developed in conjunction with The Alzheimer’s Society. Our work is valued as was evidenced by an Examiner Pride of Huddersfield Award in 2016.

All gifts in wills are welcomed. Your gift will make a difference to our Festival and help to secure its status as the premier Festival in the North of England. We encourage you to leave a gift in your will for the general purposes of the Festival rather than a restricted purpose. We will discuss possible uses of your gift with your executors when the time comes bearing in mind such priorities as may be presented at that time.

You can be confident your gift will make a real difference to the Festival’s future.

We acknowledge gifts in whatever way the donor and/or his/her executors feel to be most appropriate. Equally, we can make sure that gifts remain anonymous if that is preferred.

If you would like to talk to someone about making a gift please contact our Chairman Ray Brown on

Tel: 01484 603801 or email: ray@mrssunderlandfestival.com

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