THIS year’s Harrogate Competitive Festival for Music, Speech and Drama was a great success.
Ken Hulme wrote this review of the festival for us:
“The Final Concert of the 76th Harrogate Competitive Festival for Music, Speech and Drama brought to a close a three-weekend long extravaganza in which over 3000 people took part in almost 200 different classes whose entrants ranged in age from four to senior citizens, where there was perhaps only one entrant per class to choral classes with well over 100 people on stage, where almost every type of musical instrument was employed and where the entire operation was organised and run by a 70-strong team of volunteers.
“Little wonder, then, that the chairman of the adjudicating panel for the Final Concert, Jeffrey Wynn Davies, remarked that the Festival is one of the biggest and best run of its type in the country, a comment echoed on several occasions over the final weekend by Christina Thomson, another of the nine-strong body of adjudicators involved in this year’s Festival.
“The object of the Final Concert is to select the Young Musician of the Festival. There were six contenders: David Woods, a fine young singer with a delightful tenor voice who performed in both English and German; Tom Knowles, an absolutely brilliant percussionist who is surely destined for great success; Jonny Vaux whose alto saxophone performance was simply marvellous; Lydia Wyatt, a pianist of tender years whose fingers flew over the keys and Sarah Owens, playing Kneale’s Variations on a Welsh Theme on her Eb horn.
“The Young Musician of the Festival Award was made to cellist Edward Deakin who gave a masterful performance of Faure’s Elegie Op24.
“The second half of the evening highlighted selected performers from among the various classes.
“And what of the Festival itself? It’s not possible, of course, to watch everything in such a packed programme. I spent a day observing the harp classes where youngsters played instruments towering above them and a morning with the drum and percussion classes marvelling at how young hands can bring such instruments to life.
“I observed several flute classes. I was impressed by the Family class where at least 3 performers from 2 generations made up each family - what a wonderful way to encourage family life. And I would very much have liked to see the highly popular Old Tyme Music Hall class and the piano class where Barry Cooper - a man of mature years - won five classes in one afternoon - but you can’t be in two places at once.
“And there was no opportunity for me to see any of the acting or speech classes other than a group from Highfield Prep School who won the Group Speaking Class (12 and under) with a couple of very nicely presented pieces. But, as proof that this Festival is certainly not solely for young folks, I sang with Spirit of Harmony Barbershop Chorus in the Open Choir contest - in case you’re interested, we came second behind the huge Rock Up and Sing chorus.
“Conclusions? I am full of admiration for all these young entrants. They’re probably not particularly sporty and I doubt whether they’re computer nerds - no time for either of those activities if they are to practise regularly. Let’s just lament that their skills often go unrecognised which is a great pity. It’s a pity, too, that the Festival does not attract a far greater audience. For what it costs, you won’t find better value anywhere. Congratulations to Festival Chairman David Andrews and to Secretary Mary Webster MBE for another brilliant event. Roll on the 77th.”
“All the world’s a stage” and local girl Rebecca Daltry Ophelia’s speech from Hamlet won her the prestigious Festival Speech and Drama Shield at the conclusion of the highly successful Speech and Drama weekend.
Speech and Drama Championship Class -- The Festival Speech and Drama Shield – Winner – Rebecca Daltry, Knaresborough.
Verse Speaking – Age 7: Class 1: 1 Elliott Shaw, Harrogate; 2 Samuel Lightowlers, Harrogate; 3 Millie Dixon, Harrogate. Class 2: 1 Sofia Palmer, Harrogate; 2 Fleur Croft, Harrogate; 3 Mia Crosse, Birstwith. Age 8: Class 1: 1 Owen Houser, Harrogate; 2 Saskia Steca, Birstwith; 3 William Foster, Harrogate. Class 2: 1 Ruby Johnson, Birstwith; 2 Pebbles Myers, Harrogate; 3 Elliott Isaacs, Harrogate. Age 9: 1 William Cooke, Bradford; 2 Lottie McKelvie, Harrogate; 3 Phoebe Kennedy, Knaresbotough. Age 10: Class 1: 1 Niamh Troy, Harrogate; 2 William Kirkup, Harrogate; 3 = Roxanne Davies and Rachel Roberts, Harrogate. Class 2: 1 Robyn Wickers, Harrogate; 2 = Sarah Planchak and William Poskitt, Harrogate; 3 Grace Laver, Harrogate. Age 11: 1 Amelia Elgie, Bradford; 2 Molly Pridmore, Harrogate; 3 James Murtagh, Harrogate. Age 12 and 13: 1 Alexander Priestley, Leeds; 2 Gemma Felton, Ripon; 3 Amelia Banerjee, Harrogate. Age 14 and 15: 1 Caitlin Mawhinney, Knaresborough; 2 Millie Gaston, Knaresborough. Age 16 and over: 1 Sian Whitby, Knaresborough; 2 Sarah Day, Knaresborough; 3 Rebecca Daltry, Knaresborough. Prepared Reading Age 9 and under: 1 Rebecca Troy, Birstwith; 2 Caitlin LaBonte, Birstwith; 3 Maddy Colbourn, Harrogate. Age 10 and 11: 1 Amelia Elgie, Bradford; 2 James Murtagh, Harrogate; 3 Alexandra Pilling, Harrogate. Age 12 and 13: 1 Charlotte Barnard, Knaresborough; 2 Freya Worley, Harrogate; 3 Alexander Priestley, Leeds. Age 14 and 15: 1 Lydia Bradd, Knaresborough; 2 Caroline Taylor, Leeds; 3 Joe Beighton, Knaresborough. Age 16 and over: 1 Portia Crewe, Knaresborough; 2 Emily Nunns, Knaresborough; 3 Sarah Day, Knaresborough. Sonnet Class Age 13 -15: 1 Millie Gaston, Knaresborough; 2 Lydia Bradd, Knaresborough; 3 = Joe Beighton and Rowena Lloyd, Knaresborough. Age 16 and over: 1 Sean Whitby Knaresborough; 2 Sarah Day, Knaresborough; 3 = Liam Hill and Portia Crewe Knaresborough. Group Speaking Age 8 and under 5 or more speakers: Winners Highfield Prep School Prep 2, Harrogate. Age 12 and under 10 or more speakers: 1 Highfield Prep School Prep 6LJ, Harrogate; 2 Highfield Prep School Prep 6PJ, Harrogate; 3 KSSD Saturday Junior Intermediates, Knaresborough. Age 13 and over 10 or more speakers: 1 ACTAcademy UK Seniors, Harrogate; 2 KSSD Saturday Seniors, Knaresborough. Solo Acting Age 11 and under: 1 Phoebe Kennedy, Knaresborough; 2 Megan Walker, Harrogate; 3 Amelia Elgie, Bradford. Age 12 and 13: 1 Elin Gilbert, Knaresborough; 2 Gemma Felton, Ripon; 3 Alexander Priestley, Leeds. Age 14 and 15: 1 Rupert Hatton, Harrogate; 2 Jake Telfer, Cundall; 3 = David Paynes, Knaresborough and Caroline Taylor, Leeds. Age 16 and over : 1 Portia Crewe, Knaresborough; 2 Emily Nunns, Knaresborough; 3 Amy Vreeke, Harrogate. Shakespeare Age 15 and under: 1 Rupert Hatton, Harrogate; 2 Megan Gilbert, Knaresborough; 3 Finn Ella, Knaresborough. Age 16 and over; 1 Rebecca Daltry, Knaresborough; 2 Sarah Day, Knaresborough; 3 = Sian Whitby, Knaresborough and Amy Vreeke, Harrogate. Acted Scene 2 - 4 members Age 11 and under: 1 Jonathan Cunningham and Katy Metheringham, Knaresborough; 2 Katherine Hooper and Luke Morland, Knaresborough; 3 Grace Bentley-Smith, Laura Moore and Ellie Pickersgill, Knaresborough. Age 13 and under: 1 Alice Dunsmore and Jessica Ashcroft, Harrogate; 2 Ellie Dormer and Rhianna Malyn, Harrogate; 3 Brigitte Jennings and Millie Jenkins, Harrogate. Age 15 and under: 1 Alexander Priestley and Caroline Taylor, Leeds; 2 Caitlin Mawhinney and David Paynes, Knaresborough; 3 Lydia Bradd and Millie Gaston, Knaresborough. Age 16 and over : 1 Amber Newband and Liam Woodlands-Mooney, Knaresborough; 2 Sarah Day and Liam Hill, Knaresborough; 3 Nathan Mawhinney and Katie Wilmore, Knaresborough. Musical Theatre 10 or more players Year 4 and under: Winners Belmont Grosvenor School Curtain Call 1, Birstwith. Year 7 and under: 1 Belmont Grosvenor School Curtain Call 2 , Birstwith; 2 danSing Juniors, Harrogate; 3 = Theatrebox Juniors B, Harrogate and KSSD Saturday, Knaresborough. Year 10 and under: Winners Danceworks, Harrogate. Year 11 and over: 1 KSSD Saturday Seniors, Knaresborough; 2 ACTAcademy UK Seniors, Harrogate. Devised Drama 5 or more players Age 12 and over: 1 ACTAcademy UK Seniors, Harrogate; 2 KSSD Saturday Seniors, Knaresborough. Group Drama 5 or more players Age 11 and under; Winners KSSD Wednesday Intermediates, Knaresborough. Age 12 and over: Class 1 Winners KSSD Tuesday Masterclass, Knaresborough. Class 2: 1 KSSD Tuesday New Seniors, Knaresborough; 2 Theatrebox A, Harrogate, 3 Theatrebox B, Harrogate. Entertainment Class Age 13 to 15: 1 Lydia Bradd, Knaresborough;2 Millie Gaston, Knaresborough. Age 16 and over: 1 Liam Woodlands- Mooney, Knaresborough; 2 Emily Nunns, Knaresborough; 3 Amy Vreeke, Harrogate. Old Tyme Music Hall Song: 1 Olivia Jackson, Wetherby; 2 Faye Weerasinghe, Wetherby; 3 Megan Gilbert, Wetherby.
Young Musician of the Festival; Edward Deakins, Cello. Leeds
.Northern Choristers’ Championship Year 11 and under Girls and Boys unchanged voices: 1 Felicity Graham, Wetherby; 2 Charys Gillam, Harrogate; 3 Ewan Wallace, Harrogate. Young Musician Singer: Winner David Woods, Harrogate. Solo Singing Year 4 and under: 1 Niamh Robinson - Wakefield, Lingerfield; 2 Hannah James, Harrogate; 3 Tom Wallace, Harrogate. Boys and Girls Year 5: 1 Susannah Morgan, Ripon; 2 Kitty McNeill, Harrogate; 3 Esme Banerjee, Harrogate. Year 6; 1 Lily McNeill, Harrogate; 2 Frankie Bounds, Harrogate; 3 Talia Monnickendam, Leeds. Year 7: 1 Samantha Brockett, Harrogate; 2 Rosie Walwyn, Harrogate; 3 = Emma Brown and Stacia Mythen, Harrogate. Year 8 and 9: 1 Alice Wright, Wetherby; 2 Felicity Graham, Wetherby; 3 = Sophia Camfield and Charys Gillam, Harrogate. Years 10 and 11: 1 Phoebe Worley, Harrogate; 2 Rebecca Archbold, Otley; 3 Andrew Mellor, Harrogate. Girls Year 13 and under: 1 Emily Hobson, Harrogate; 2 Isabella Newbery, Harrogate; 3 = Hannah Starling, Leeds and Amelia Thompson, Keighle Boys Year 13 and under: 1 David Woods Harrogate; 2 James Micklethwaite, Leeds; 3 Andrew Mellor, Harrogate. 60 and over 1 Robert Peel, York; 2 Andrea Walker, Pannal; 3 Pat Kirby, Doncaster. Open Novice: 1 David Woods, Harrogate; 2 Niamh Robinson-Wakefield,Lingerfield. Oratorio Class Open 1 Ann Wilkes, Huddersfield; 2 Lesley Warren, Doncaster; 3 James Micklethwaite, Leeds. Solo from a Show or Musical Year 7: 1 Lulu Mossman, Harrogate; 2 = Helena Baker, Otley and Alexandra Murray, Birstwith; 3 = Megan Walker, Harrogate and Rosie Walwyn, Harrogate. Year 8 1 Nicloe Brocksom, Harrogate; 2 Alice Dunsmore, Otley; 3 Natalia Slomczykowski, Harrogate. Year 9: 1 Amelia Thompson, Keighley; 2 Louise Henry, Harrogate; 3 Susanna Cirulli, Harrogate. Year 10: 1 Andrew Mellor, Harrogate; 2 Faye Weerasinghe, Wetherby; 3 Kelly Stocker, Wetherby. Year 11: 1 Ellie Morrow, Harrogate; 2 Hannah Chloe Williams, Harrogate; 3 Joe Beighton, Knaresborough. Year 12 and 13: 1 David Woods, Harrogate; 2 Leah Weerasinghe, Wetherby; 3 = Heather Kirk, Harrogate and Olivia Jackson, Wetherby. Folk Song: Open: 1 Andrea Walker, Pannal; 2 Ann Wilkes, Huddersfield; 3 Lesley Warren, Doncaster. Year 6 and under: 1 Frankie Bounds, Harrogate; 2 Evangeline Barnby, Hull; 3 = Alexa Wilkinson, Harrogate and Niamh Robinson – Wakefield, Lingerfield. Year 7: 1 Dominic Sowa, Harrogate; 2 Samantha Brockett, Harrogate; 3 Martha Handley, Otley. Year 8 and 9: 1 Charys Gillam, Harrogate; 2 Amelia Thompson, Keighley; 3 Amy Johnston, Otley. Year 11 and under: 1 Sarah Owens, Boroughbridge; 2 Leah Buckle, Harrogate. Victorian or Edwardian Ballad Open: Winner Thomas Tidswell, Collingham.
Spiritual Open: Winner Isabella Newbery, Harrogate. Recital Class over Year 13 1 Ann Wilkes, Huddersfield; 2 Louise Alp, Harrogate; 3 Lesley Warren, Doncaster.
British Composer Open: 1 Ann Wilkes, Huddersfield; 2 = Louise Alp, Harrogate and James Micklethwaite, Leeds; 3 David Woods, Harrogate. Operatic Aria Open: 1 Andrea Walker, Pannal; 2 Thomas Tidswell, Collingham; 3 Lesley Warren, Doncaster. Lieder Class Open: 1 David Woods, Harrogate; 2 James Micklethwaite, Leeds; 3 Lesley Warren, Doncaster.
Vocal Duet Year 11 and under; 1 David Paynes and Timothy Williams, Birstwith; 2 Rhian Smith-Price and Ellie Kay Coles, Harrogate. Year 13 and under: 1 Amber Newband and Ruaraidh Campbell, Otley. Vocal Duet Classical Open: Winners Pat Kirby and Lesley Warren, Brough.
Vocal Duet or Trio from a Show Film or Musical Open: 1 Leah and Faye Weerasinghe, Wetherby; 2 Megan and Elin Gilbert, Wetherby; 3 Alice Wright and Olivia Jackson, Wetherby. Vocal Group including Barbershop Open: QUADRAHEDRON, York; 2 Nkechi Uwaezoke, Emily Hobson, Heather Kirk and Katy Huntley, Harrogate; 3 Ice Cubes, Harrogate. Silver Rose Bowl Winner Ann Wilkes, Huddersfield.
Choir Year 4 and under: 1 Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School Lower School Choir, Wakefield; 2 Highfield Junior Choir, Harrogate; 3 = Saltergate Infant School Choir, Harrogate and Brackenfield School Infant Choir, Harrogate. Year 6 and under: 1 Highfield Senior Choir, Harrogate; 2 Pannal Primary School Choir, Harrogate; 3 QEGS Junior School Choir, Wakefield. Year 9 and under: 1 Harrogate Ladies’College Gallery Choir, Harrogate; 2 = St. Aidan’s Junior Choir, Harrogate and The Grammar School at Leeds Junior Chamber Choir, Leeds. Year 11 and under: 1 St. John Fisher Senior Choir, Harrogate; 2 Stagecoach Kippax and Selby, Leeds. Year 13 and under: 1 Chapel Choir of Harrogate Ladies’ College, Harrogate; 2 Gateways Harmony, Leeds; 3 Ripon Grammar School Choir, Ripon. Church Music – SS Choir Open: Winners Chapel Choir of Harrogate Ladies’ College, Harrogate. Choir Open: 1 Rock Up and Sing, Harrogate; 2 Spirit of Harmony, York; 3 Main Street Sound, York. Show Choir Open: 1 danSing seniors, Wetherby; 2 St. Aidan’s Show Choir, Harrogate.
Choral Challenge Open; Winners Chapel Choir of Harrogate Ladies’ College. Brass Solo Year 5 and under; Winner Georgina Comerford, Ripon. Year 7 and under: 1 Thomas Bryden, Ripon; 2 William Freeman, Harrogate. Age 18 and under: 1 Sarah Owens, Boroughbridge; 2 Isabella Newbery, Harrogate; 3 Andrew Maxwell, Harrogate. Open: Winner Sarah Owens, Boroughbridge. Brass Group Year 10 and under: Winner Tewit Youth Band, Harrogate Year 13 and under; Winners Ripon Grammar School Brass, Ripon. Percussion: Year 6 and under: Winner George Malcher, Harrogate. Age 18 and under: Winner Tom Knowles, Harrogate. Ensemble Open 4 or more players: 1 A.P.E., Harrogate; 2 St. Aidan’s World Music Group, Harrogate. Drum Kit Year 10 and under: 1 Tom Knowles, Harrogate; 2 Tim Barnes,Harrogate; 3 Michael Cormack, Harrogate. Year 18 and under: 1 John Mason, Harrogate; 2 Ali Sheehan-Dare, Harrogate. Percussion and Drum Kit Championship Winner Tom Knowles, Harrogate. Youth/School Orchestra - Year 6 and under: 1 Highfield Prep School Senior Orchestra; 2 St. Wilfrid’s School Orchestra, Ripon. Year 13 and under: 1 St. Aidan’s Symphony Orchestra, Harrogate; 2 Ripon Grammar School Orchestra. Brass Band Contest Open; Winner Tewit Intermediate Band, Harrogate.
Jazz/Swing Band Year 10 and under; 1 Fisher Jazz, Harrogate; 2 St. Aidan’s Jazz Ensemble, Harrogate; 3 Ripon Grammar School Big Band, Ripon. Year 13 and under: 1 St.Aidan’s Swing Band, Harrogate; 2 Ripon Grammar School Big Band. Jazz Group Open: 1 Patchwork Jazz Collective, Harrogate; 2 Jazzix, Harrogate; 3 Hornblower Brass Band, Ripon.