Eskdale Festival gets underway

Judging the spoken word competition at the Eskdale Festival
Judging the spoken word competition at the Eskdale Festival

The Eskdale Festival of the Arts 2015 competition is in full swing at Whitby Pavilion, kicking off with spoken word sections this week.

The festival, believed to have originated in 1902, is renowned for a traditional stroll up the beach followed by a trip up to the pavilion to enjoy the performances.

Today, still going strong, it is a fantastic opportunity for young people to become involved in the arts and find expression through performance.

The festival includes students from year two to sixth form with a variety of different categories to choose to compete in.

Among the performances, there will be a variety of verse speaking, shared poetry and group drama to classical Shakespeare speeches and even some TV newscasts.

The musical performances will then go under the spotlight for the second half of the festival from Monday onwards with a range of choirs, orchestras, bands, solo singers and instrumentalists taking to the stage competing for the top spot.

The competition is a tough one, being externally adjudicated by a panel of experienced musicians and theatrical performers from the British and International Federation of festivals.

As well as the main performances, the festival is also acting a springboard for enabling young musicians to work with professionals.

This year the festival has teamed up with charity Musicport to give 20 students the chance to work with a professional chamber orchestra for a half-day workshop tomorrow.

Chairman Dave Bradley said: “It’s great that these two charities can come together to enable young people to be musical.”

This year the festival will also include a free jazz lunch on Sunday with performances from jazz bands Sirocco, Pier, Nocturnal Dictionary and singer Katie Bouché.

The festival will conclude with a gala concert, sponsored by Boyes and the inaugural big band competition, which will be held on the afternoon of Saturday March 14, featuring youth bands from Whitby, Selby and Harrogate.aption