Eskdale Festival hits the right notes

Sleights recorder ensemble at Eskdale Festival on Tuesday''w131005g
Sleights recorder ensemble at Eskdale Festival on Tuesday''w131005g

TWO weeks of music, drama and performance in Whitby drew to a close on Saturday at a rousing concert packed with hundreds of audience members.

The Eskdale Festival of the Arts, which has taken place annually in the town since 1902, has seen youngsters from schools across Whitby and district and adults compete in a whole host of classes.

On Saturday, the festival culminated in the Boyes Gala Concert which was held at Whitby Pavilion and featured performances from many of the festival’s highlights and winners including performances of choral speaking, Shakespeare and poetry as well as bands, solos and choirs.

Secretary of the festival, David Rowland said around 400 people attended the concert.
“It was a good concert and there were lots of different things and lots of good things. It was like a gourmet restaurant menu with lots of little bits and meant you went away thinking I might like to enjoy a little bit more of that,” he said.

“I think everyone had a good time. I’m proud of all the kids that took part, they were great.”

Mr Rowland added the adverse weather had meant some competitors were unable to perform at the festival ,which was disappointing however, he added support from volunteers this year had been outstanding and had helped the event go with a real swing.

“We’ve had good support from Whitby Pavilion who have been very helpful, sponsorship from local businesses and other charitable organisations. The volunteers and stewards have put in hours of work. The teachers prepared the kids well - they put endless work into it,” he added.

At the gala concert a number of youngsters were awarded bursaries following their outstanding contributions to the festival.

These were presented by Eskdale Festival president Edwin Newlyn to Zeta, Jeremy and Sharron Normanton, Naomi Fester, Eleanor Paxton, Sam Marks, Annie Spilman and Lina Cox who also scooped the Albert Hicks Trophy for Young Musician of the Year.

On Saturday 13 April, choirs from across the country will battle it out at Whitby Pavilion as it hosts the festival’s National Choir Day which starts at 11.30am.

Choirs taking part are Whitby Community Choir as well as those from further afield including York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir and Driffield Male Voice Choir.

On the day, they will also compete for a £500 prize in the recital class.