Mrs Sunderland festival - part of the fabric of the nation
HUDDERSFIELD’S prestigious Mrs Sunderland festival is an integral part of the nation’s musical education.
It plays an important role in both the musical and personal development and nourishes other organisations, such as choral societies, bands and orchestras.
That’s the view of junior piano adjudicator Margaret Smith, a judge of many years’ standing at music festivals around the country, who was making her fourth visit to the Mrs Sunderland this week.
Mrs Smith, who studied at the Royal Academy of Music and has spent many years in musical education, said: “The festival movement is a vital part of musical education around the country. It feeds other musical organisations and is a very important part of our development.
“West Yorkshire is a musical county and Huddersfield is a very musical town and there is a lot to be commended here. The Mrs Sunderland festival is very well run and plays a big part in the life of Yorkshire.”
Mrs Smith, who was born in Skipton, was judging yesterday morning’s Class 1 and 2 piano solos for seven and eight-year-olds.
She added: “I think the piano is a very, very important instrument. It gives students a good background in all kinds of different ways and a good start in music.
“My job is to encourage the performance so that young people can enjoy playing to an audience. I want them to think about and understand the music and try to give them pointers so they can develop a rapport with the audience.
“The general standard has been very good and it has been a super audience this morning.”
Yesterday and today are devoted to piano playing and public speaking. A writing workshop will also be held today for the first time. The event will be led by acclaimed children’s author Emily Diamand, who wrote the first paragraph of a story and more than 100 primary school children have taken up the challenge to complete the story.
This evening features the Shakespearean and dramatic solo classes. Tomorrow kicks off in a lively manner when 700 local junior school children will pack into the main auditorium for a singing workshop at 9.30am.