Curtain comes down on Sudbury arts festival

Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts finale concert

Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts finale concert - Credit: Archant

Young dancers, musicians and actors helped to bring a long-running arts festival to a close in spectacular style at the weekend.

The 93rd Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts, which is being hailed as a big success by organisers, ended with a finale concert at the Ormiston Sudbury Academy on Sunday afternoon.

The festival, which this year ran from February 14 to March 16, originally started in 1922 as the Clare Festival and gradually expanded before moving to Sudbury.

It now offers around 400 classes across the three main branches of performing arts: dance, speech and drama, and music.

Open to children and adults with a wide range of abilities from all over East Anglia, the competitive festival gives participants an opportunity to perform – as a soloist or as part of a group – in front of an audience and a professional adjudicator.

This year’s finale show featured a variety of entrants from each of the categories, including moving performances of Dickens’ Hard Times by Esmee Fox and A Small Boy’s Trouble by Ralph Mann.

The Bernard Johnson Award, which is given to an outstanding young performer by the festival’s organising committee on the recommendation of the adjudicators, was presented to Mia Zandi-Amarloe.

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Meanwhile, The Anniversary Cup which goes to the most promising performer, aged 15 or under, was awarded to Charles Knowler for his entries in the speech category.

The Holmes & Hills Award for Endeavour is presented to a student who has continued with their performing arts studies despite personal difficulties, has made great progress in these studies during the year and has used their performing arts skills to benefit the community.

This year it went to Eleanor Scott.

Chairwoman of the festival committee, Jan Osborne, said: “The festival has been a resounding success, full of wonderful dancing, singing, music and drama.

“It is run by a group of dedicated volunteers but if it is to continue to thrive, it needs more members.”

Anyone interested in joining the organising committee and assuring the future of the festival can contact Jan Osborne on 01787 466096 or by email at

Holmes and Hill solicitors, based in North Street, has agreed to sponsor the festival for the next three years.

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