Festival News

Our New Chairman


Sarah Kelly



The Manx Music, Speech and Dance Festival, which is presented in association with Dandara, is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Chairman, Mrs Sarah Kelly, who was elected to the position on Friday 13th November 2015 at the Annual General Meeting. Sarah, who is the Centre Manager of Manx Cancer Help has been attending and competing in The Guild at the festival for over 40 years!

Until the age of 20, Sarah was a member of Aeg Threshlyn Choir, run by her Aunt, Mrs Eleanor Shimmin. The Aeg Threshlyn Cchoir was very successful in the Guild over the years, being the choir that has won the Vancouver Shield more than any other. Mrs Shimmin, (her Father's sister,) also took the Aeg Threshlyn Choir off-Island several times and Sarah competed with them at the Blackpool Music Festival. She was also a pupil of Mrs Pat Corrin and entered many Spoken Word Classes in her junior days, including at the Southport Festival. More recently Sarah has competed with The Corrinettes in the Adult Group Theme and Choral Speaking Classes.

Sarah says said that she was approached asked by outgoing Chairman Ken Bawden to consider standing: ‘I was honoured to have been approached by Ken, as Chairman when he had indicated that he wished to stand down. I am grateful to the committee for electing me and I am very excited to see the development of the new classes, with the support of our sponsors Dandara. I am also very much looking forward to seeing the development of the new classes during 2016'. 

Festival Secretary, Jacqueline Yates, continued: ‘Sarah is the first woman Chairman of the Guild and I am sure she will do very well in her new role. She will bring a wealth of experience of finance and voluntary activity and lead us with humour and enthusiasm.  I would very much like to  thank Ken Bawden for his contribution as Chairman and for continuing on the Executive Committee to bring his experience to bear. The Guild committee would like to pay tribute to Peter Fletcher, David Cowley and Linda Harding, who will continue as 'Company Members' but who have stood down from the Executive Committee after many years of devoted service.’






Countdown to Festival

Days Hours Minutes Seconds
20th April - 28th April 2018

Congratulations to the winners of trophies for 2017. Please ensure that you return your trophy clean, engraved and in good condition to Peter Norris Music, Bucks Road, Douglas by Saturday, 31st March 2018. Thank you.


Affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech