Programme launched for Sudbury’s 94th performing arts festival

Youngsters on stage at the Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts finale concert last year

Youngsters on stage at the Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts finale concert last year - Credit: Archant

Dozens of young dancers, musicians and actors are preparing to pit their skills against each other in a popular performing arts festival, which is now in its 94th year.

The programme has just been released for the Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts which will take place between February 13 and March 7.

The event, which originally started in 1922 as the Clare Festival, 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.

The front cover of this year’s programme was designed by Year 13 student Dan Hunt who is studying fine art and performing arts at Ormiston Sudbury Academy.

Holmes and Hills solicitors in Sudbury is also sponsoring the 2016 Festival, which opens on February 13 with the dance section at the academy.

The music category will run from February 23 to 28, with the speech and drama classes taking place from March 3 to 7, both at Thomas Gainsborough School for the first time.

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The event will draw to a close with a concert at Ormiston Acadmey on March 13 showcasing some of the talented performers across all three disciplines.

Last 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.

At the concert, the Bernard Johnson Award is given to an outstanding young performer by the festival’s organising committee and the Anniversary Cup goes to the most promising performer, aged 15 or under.

Chairwoman of the festival committee, Jan Osborne, said: “We have had entries from much further afield than usual and the festival is going from strength to strength. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to come along and watch the various classes to support those taking part.”

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