Festival News

Tom Shirtliff and the Gladys Skillicorn Scholarship

The Executive Committee was delighted recently to receive a very appreciative letter from Tom Shirtliff, 2015 winner of the Gladys Skillicorn scholarship. Tom had taken up the opportunity afforded by the award of the Gladys Skillicorn Scholarship to attend a Baroque music course at the renowned Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. 

The course covered new techniques to help with playing both Baroque pieces and violin in general and he says the more he learnt the more the students reaslied that they were only scratching the surface. By the end of the course everyone had improved. 

On top of this he was introduced to period instruments such as the viola da gamba and spend his free time playing this and playing music with other attendees that they had found in the extensive music library. He was introduced to a vast repertoire of music that he'd never known about before and was able to enjoy playing some of them with incredibly talented musicians. 

He said that "It was, in short, the most musically inspiring experiences and it was only possible thanks of your generous funding. Because of the costs, very few young people are able to attend such amazing courses as these....The opportunity that you give to those of us on the Island, who are further discouraged from music courses because of the additional travel costs, is incredible." 

The Executive are very pleased that Tom had such a positive learning experience on the course. 

The Festival has reviewed its scholarships during the last year in the context of the 125th anniversary. As a result there will be four new scholarships, one each for Singing, Music, Dance and Drama. Winners will be nominated by the adjudicators and will have the opportunity to attend a short course or summer school on similar lines to the Gladys Skillicorn Scholarship.  All scholarships will be awarded to competitors in the age range 12 to 25. 

Countdown to Festival

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27th April - 4th May 2019

Congratulations to the winners of trophies for 2018. Please ensure that you return your trophy clean, engraved and in good condition to Morrison Photos, 3 Tynwald Street, Douglas by Saturday, 30th March 2019. Thank you.


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