The 2019 Manx Music, Speech and Dance Festival, sponsored by the Dandara Group, is all set to be another bumper event.
More than 1,300 wide-ranging entries have been received for the ‘Guild’, as it is affectionately known.
Held in association with award-winning homebuilder Dandara, it will take place over eight days from Saturday 27th April until Saturday 4th May, predominantly at the Villa Marina.
Drama participants are substantially up on last year with 55 extra entries, while entrants for dance classes are also similar to 2018.
It means more than 1,200 children will be singing and over 200 dancers performing in the junior choirs and modern dance classes respectively, and in total around 4,000 children will be involved over the course of the week.
Festival Secretary Jacqueline Yates said: ‘We are thrilled to see such large numbers of competitors again this year, showing the enduring popularity of the Guild in the Manx music and drama calendar.
‘It is also hugely encouraging to see such interest in the new classes for 2019. There are 15 entries in the news reading classes, while the stand-up comedy has attracted seven brave entrants!’
Insurance company RL360 is sponsoring that class and it’s hoped the firm’s chief actuary, Donald MacLeod, will present the prizes. In 2014, the Scottish businessman broke the world record for the most jokes told in an hour (580), raising more than £50,000 for hospices in the Western Isles.
‘There will certainly be something for everyone to enjoy at the Villa Marina during Guild week,’ Jacqueline continued. ‘It is wonderful to see the Festival is still attracting new people and with such a bright future ahead.’
The final weekend of the Festival will feature both the Cleveland Medal Test on Friday 3rd May and the Choir Concert Classes on Saturday 4th May in the Royal Hall, events which are sure to draw large crowds.
Dandara Group Managing Director Seamus Nugent added: ‘The Manx Music, Speech and Dance Festival is the largest participation event in the Isle of Man’s cultural scene and has a long and illustrious history.
‘We are pleased our support has helped broaden audience appeal and especially pleased to see the innovative new classes have proved so popular.’
Season tickets are available from the Villa Marina Box Office at a cost of £35 for entry to all sessions during the week. General admission for morning sessions will be £4, evening sessions £5 and entry is free for under 18s. Songs from the Musicals night entry is £8, Cleveland Medal Contest night is £10, with half price for under 18s.