TALENTED performers shone in the spotlight at the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival.
Pianists of all ages hit the right notes with the judges while budding thespians impressed in the speech classes at Huddersfield Town Hall yesterday.
With the contest, now in its 118th year, attracting entrants from all over the country, competition is always fierce.
But performers from Huddersfield proved that our home-grown talent is as impressive as ever.
Freya Smith, of Meltham, won the piano solo class for children in Year 6 and under.
Freya, 11, impressed the judges with her moving interpretation of P Wedgwood's Sweet Marianne.
She said: "I'm very pleased to have done so well. I entered last year and came second, so it's the best I've done so far!"
Freya has been playing the piano for six years and is also an accomplished oboe player.
She is entering seven classes in this year's contest.
Mum Jill Brook said: "I am so proud of her. It's the taking part that counts, but she has done an amazing job.
"We only just moved here last year and tried the competition then to see what it was like. We were so impressed with it.
"It's a great festival and a good opportunity for my daughter because she gets to play in such a lovely building on a fantastic piano."
Also scoring top marks with the judges in the piano solo class for students in Year 13 and under was Abigail Beevers, of Shelley.
Abigail, 16, gave a rendition of a Chopin nocturne.
Adjudicator Timothy Barratt commented: "The beauty of the piece came across."
He said of the entire class, which included other performers from Huddersfield: "It's not often one comes across a class of such high standard."
Abigail said she was pleased to do so well, particularly as she faced strong competition.
She added: "I am pleased because it was such a good class, and everyone played their pieces so differently.
"I have taken part in the competition before and I think it's great. It's probably the best around."
Abigail has been playing piano for 11 years and goes to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Competitors taking part in yesterday's speech classes showed off their skills in texts ranging from the Bible to Shakespeare.
Harvey Shaw, of Marsh, won the verse speaking class for children aged nine and 10.
He impressed with his lively and expressive interpretation of Gareth Owen's poem The Wind.
Luke Wood, of Scapegoat Hill, also scored high marks for his version of the same poem and was placed second.
Adjudicator Ann Warr said: "Both were very good and there were some lovely moments."
The contest continues today with more piano, speech and drama classes.