There’ll be a significant change to the way finalists are determined for the most prestigious award in Island musical life.
Organisers of the Manx, Music, Speech & Dance Festival - held in association with award-winning homebuilder Dandara - are altering the structure of the classes that provide the line-up for the coveted Cleveland Medal Test.
Considered the Island’s highest honour in singing, in previous years the Cleveland Final has been made up from the winners of the six ‘special’ solo classes - soprano, mezzo soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone and bass.
However, at the 2019 Festival, the three ladies with the highest marks and the three highest marked gentlemen in the ‘special’ vocal classes will go forward to compete on Finals Night.
Festival Secretary Jacqueline Yates explained: ‘We are certain this will maintain the incredibly high standard of singing the Island produces and which the Guild attracts.
‘Rather than provide a finalist from each class, we felt the performers with the highest marks in the special classes should be involved. In theory, there could be three singers from any female voice category and up to three men from the same voice category.
‘The changes should guarantee another hotly contested Cleveland Medal final of a very high standard.’
The 2019 Festival will take place between Saturday 27th April and Saturday 4th May at the Villa Marina. Entries to all classes close on Saturday 9th February.
Seamus Nugent, Managing Director of Festival sponsors Dandara said: ‘The Cleveland Medal is such a highly prized award that this development will only further enhance the contest as the island’s most talented vocalists vie for this prestigious honour.
‘The committee is clearly taking great steps to ensure the Guild continues to thrive and grow while maintaining the format and traditional classes that make it so special to our community. We’re very pleased to be supporting the festival again in 2019.’