THE curtain has again fallen on a nine-day feast of music, song and speech in Huddersfield.
Saturday's finale saw the most outstanding performers from the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival take to the stage once more for the gala evening.
Organisers are now enjoying a month-long break before starting work on next year's event, one of the biggest festivals of its type in the North.
It is the sheer levels of hard work that make the annual event such a success.
The committee, adjudicators, accompanists and an army of volunteers make sure all the performers in the 140 classes enjoy their time on the magnificent stages of Huddersfield Town Hall and the university's St Paul's Concert Hall.
Committee chairman Michael Hampshire explained the ethos of the festival.
"The most important thing is that we are giving people a platform to perform on in a superb setting."
He added: "You can't practise and perform to your teacher in a vacuum. You are isolating yourself and you will not develop as an artist."
Much effort went into attracting the festival's 16 world-class adjudicators, many of whom have themselves appeared at prestigious venues.
Vocal judge Jean Allister has sung at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Glyndebourne, while Kenneth Park was a professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music.
John White is professor of viola at the Royal Academy of Music and was also a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
"Most festivals get one or two adjudicators who judge the lot," said Mr Hampshire. "We have got individuals well known for each discipline."
Then, there are more than 50 volunteers working behind the scenes.
Mr Hampshire said the first weekend, showcasing a range of vocal performances, provided a great start to the nine-day festival.
"All the classes were well supported and we had some outstanding performances."
Listeners were treated throughout the opening events to pieces varying from Purcell right through to Gilbert and Sullivan.
There were plenty of young singers. "I think the most encouraging thing on the vocal weekend was the number of young singers who are coming through. There is more singing in schools now," said Mr Hampshire.
Fellow organiser David Hirst said
the performers were among some of the best in the country. "It's high quality, there's no doubt," he added.
He also believed the setting was right to bring the very best out of the entrants, whatever their age.
Although the contest is very traditional, it is always moving forward. "It's always evolving. You have to be very adaptable," said Mr Hirst.