New features for festival of the arts

Musicians from Stakesby Community Primary School at a previous Eskdale Festival
Musicians from Stakesby Community Primary School at a previous Eskdale Festival

The Eskdale Festival of the Arts gets under way this week and is set to wow audiences with a number of features that are brand new for 2015.

Organisers of the annual event were pleased to announce that they have this year teamed up with Musicport, and their partnership will enable enable 20 students to work with a professional chamber orchestra for a half-day workshop on Saturday March 7.

Chairman Dave Bradley said: “I am really grateful to Jim McLaughlin of Musicport and Bob Butterfield, Head of Whitby Music Centre, for helping us to realise the committee’s ambition of enabling young musicians to work with professionals.”

The students are drawn from local groups Pier, Nocturnal Dictionary and the Whitby Music Centre. It is hoped that Jam Sandwich, the orchestra which will be teaching them, will work with the students through the summer and perform at the Musicport Festival in the autumn.

A free Jazz Lunchtime session is another feature new to this year’s festival.

Taking place on Sunday March 8 at Whitby Pavilion, singer Katie Bouché, Sirocco from Whitby Music Centre, Pier, Nocturnal Dictionary and a traditional group from Danby will all be performing.

The festival’s inaugural big band competition, which will be held on the afternoon of Saturday March 14, will feature youth bands from Whitby, Selby and Harrogate.

The event gets under way on Wednesday March 4 with the Spoken Word competition at Whitby Pavilion. It runs from 9.30am until 6pm and from 9.30am until noon the following day.

The music competition is being held at the same venue between Monday March 9 and Thursday March 12 and a gala concert, sponsored by Boyes, will be held on Saturday March 14 at 6.30pm in the Pavilion’s Northern Lights Suite.

Festival organisers are on the lookout for volunteer stewards to lend a hand at the event.

Mr Bradley continued: “We do have a superb team of volunteers but if we could find two or three more adults who would be willing to give up a morning or afternoon, it would be a great help to the team.”

Anyone interested in volunteering their services should contact secretary David Rowland on (01947) 600403.