It may seem odd to be looking forward to March already, since we’ve only just started the Spring term, but that is just what is happening in the music and drama departments. Peripatetic music teachers fill their lessons with comments about judging and dynamics, students rummage around trying to find the perfect monologue or poem and teachers wander around wondering whether class 355 or 356 is the best choice for the Year 10 class band. Why is all this happening? The Eskdale Festival of the Arts.
The festival is a music, drama and spoken word competition which takes place over a week in the beginning of March. Pupils of all ages from 4 to 94 can take part with classes as varied as Christmas in March to Bible reading, instrumental solo to Shakespeare Monologue. The festival has been running for over 100 years and has given our pupils the chance to perform for a live audience, get feedback from impressive judges and most importantly, to be proud of their successes.
Pupils from the Junior school and senior drama and music classes have taken part in the festival last year and entries for this year’s festival went in this week. Copies of poems and scripts are already winging their way home to your children, and I am sure you will all enjoy listening to our musical entries this year too.
Last year Anisia Fedotova, year 11, won her monologue class and was asked back to perform at the Gala Concert. Here is what she has to say about the festival:
The Eskdale Festival always has a lot of people. Students are split up by age and talent groups. Last year I was competing with year 11’s in the monologue category. Each of us has been asked to perform on a stage, then we waited a bit, so judges can decide who won in each group. At the end we all would get the overall feedback for our performances. Surprisingly, I won the first place last year and organisers asked all winners to perform at the Gala concert, which was the Saturday after the main competition was done. To be part of a competition is always nerve-wracking and exciting, especially when there are that many people around, but this really helps you to encourage yourself and “step up”.
The best of luck for all of our pupils entering the festival this year, we know you will all make us proud!
Lizzie Jeeves, Head of Drama and English as a Second Language