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Robertshaw Festival celebrates 80 years
A prestigious arts festival in Bingley celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and will once again offer hundreds of performers their chance to shine.
The only years the Robertshaw Festival has not been held since 1933 were the early years of the Second World War, and over its eight decades has become one of Yorkshire’s most important events in the literary, drama and musical calendar.
In that time it has successfully introduced thousands of youngsters into the competitive arts world, and given them the confidence to perform in public. Schools in the district encourage their pupils to take part, and hopefully use the festival as a springboard for a bright future in the arts.
Held over two weekends in March at Beckfoot School, the grass roots event will see hundreds of people involved in the different contests, judged by experts from across the country.
This year, the speech and drama competitions are on March 1 and 2 and the music classes on March 8 and 9.
There are numerous categories within the festival, most divided into different age groups, and some open to groups and choirs. They include poetry, newsreading, memorised prose, dramatic scene, solo and duet singing, bible reading, 19th century German song and lyric and barbershop quartet.
The festival has a particularly strong following from local drama groups, and a winners’ certificate carries high prestige in the arts community. Expert judges offer valuable advice to the entrants.
Festival chairman Tom Walls said: “The idea behind the festival is encouraging children and adults to come along, compete and get some experience in performing. It is good for their confidence, and hopefully they take on any constructive criticism the judges offer.
The deadline for entry is January 11. Entry forms and the full syllabus for the festival are available to download at bingleyrobertshaw.org.uk.