Praise for talented performers

PERFORMERS from the Brighouse area showed off their talents at the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival – and left clutching trophies.

The annual festival, held at Huddersfield Town Hall, includes disciplines from piano to percussion and band contests to poetry writing.

Chairman of the festival Michael Hampshire said the vocal recital classes had been of an “incredibly high standard”.

“There has been a wide range of repertoire and there have been some really polished performances.”

Mr Hampshire said he was pleased that none of the classes had been dominated by one singer and that prizes had been spread out between the participants.

Talented soprano Rachel Crisp, of Clifton, was among the singers who celebrated success in this year’s competition coming away with four awards. She came third in Oratorio solo, Soprano solo and British Composer. She also gained a second in the Operatic solo.

The nine-day festival attracted more than 900 entries in 130 competitive classes including 12-year-old Lydia Wyatt, of Rastrick.

The festival ‘veteran’, who has scooped several top prizes in the past, didn’t disappoint leaving the competition with four trophies including top prize in the tough piano recital class for performers aged 12 to 14.

Adjudicator Margaret Murray awarded Lydia the top A grade for her winning performance, describing her playing as ‘beautiful’ and ‘promising’.

The Rastrick High School pupil was also praised when she accompanied the school’s choir on her flute.

Mum, Helen said she was over the moon to come away with four trophies in what were very competitive contests.

“One of the outstanding performances she gave was at the gala evening which she found nerve-wracking but she loved the whole experience,” she said.

Once again St Joseph’s RC Primary School pupil, Madeleine Coldwell, came away with trophies after winning the verse speaking for her year group and a third in Bible reading and prepared reading.

And Georgina Gledhill triumphed at this year’s festival with a first in the girls’ solo and being crowned the winner of the junior singers’ challenge. The Brighouse youngster was awarded second in junior music theatre.

Rastrick High School pupils did extremely well again this year. Matthew Wilson won the boys’ solo, unbroken voice, and Rebecca Carr gained a second in the junior music theatre. The school’s junior choir also came second in the young people’s choir, year 8 and under.

Thomas Ramsey, of Wyke, gained a first in the junior music theatre for his age category and Isla Gaylor, of St Chad’s Primary School, Hove Edge, received a second for her verse speaking.

The event, which was held up for a short time last Thursday following a security alert - a package which was eventually declared safe, ended with a celebratory gala evening.