Home-grown talent will be back in the spotlight when musicians and performers of all ages converge on Ilkley for the 108th Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts this month.

Organisers say they aim to create another vibrant festival, despite there being lower numbers of entries in both the music and the speech and drama sections.

Competitive classes for children and adult performers will take place at venues across Ilkley between Saturday, May 10, and Saturday, May 17.

Festival secretary Elizabeth Sharp appealed for people to support the festival by turning up and providing an audience for the participants to perform to.

She said: “Sadly, this year we have suffered a considerable loss in entries in both music and speech and drama, which has resulted in several empty sessions throughout the week.

“However, we soldier on undismayed and have endeavoured to bring another vibrant Festival of Performing Arts to delight our audiences and adjudicators.”

Mrs Sharp also called for people to volunteer as platform stewards, certificate writers and box office stewards.

New for this year is a Disney vocal class, aimed at singers aged eight and under, and a new partnership with Ashlands Primary School in Ilkley will see all kinds of young performers take part in the festival’s Wharfedale’s Got Talent competition.

She thanked sponsors and advertisers for their support.

Concert performances take place throughout the week in Riddings Hall, Christchurch and the King’s Hall.

The festival begins at Riddings Hall, Riddings Road, on May 10, with classes including North Indian music recital, classical guitar classes, harp solo, junior folk solo and musical theatre groups classes.

A special service of rededication will take place at another of the festival’s bases, Christchurch, the following day.

Five steel bands and four brass bands are expected at the King’s Hall on Tuesday night, as well as a variety of brass solos and ensembles, for Band Night.

A Music Makers class on Wednesday, May 14, will see non-competitive musical performances by several schools which cater for children with special educational needs.

Meanwhile, a school choirs workshop will be held at the King’s Hall on Thursday, and musical classes will be taking place ar Riddings Hall.

Seventeen school choirs are expected at the King’s Hall on Friday, May 16, for the school choirs day, which is sponsored by Craiglands Hotel.

The Ilkley Parish Council Evening of Vocal Delight will take place on Friday, May 16, at the Kings Hall.

The show will feature songs from the shows, old-time music hall, Pop Star competitors, cabaret solos and groups, Gilbert and Sullivan, Edwardian and Victorian ballads and folk songs Vocal groups and adult choirs will battle it out on the final Saturday. All choirs will be invited back for a Celebration Concert at Christchurch on June 4.

The festival will conclude the with the HSMC Rosebowl Competition following the senior vocal classes. Three singers will be invited to sing for this prestigious trophy.

Adjudicators will nominate a soloist in the speech and drama section for the Denis Sharp Bursary, enabling him or her to take part in a prestigious summer school.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help the festival can call (01943) 872067, 07860 786149 or e-mail liz.sharp@wharfedalefestival.co.uk.

  • Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts Poetry Writing Results: Class P101, 9 Years and Under, 1 Zoe Wright, Bingley; Class 102, 12 Years and Under, 1 Isabel Mann, Bradford; Class P103 9 Years and Under Set Theme, 1 Clemmie Swiffen, Ilkley; 12 Years and Under Set Theme, 1 Mariya Khan, Bradford; 14 Years and Under, 1 Ella Sanderson, Menston; Original Poem No Age Limit, 1 Robert D Kelly, Isle of Man; Dialect, 1 Kevin Flaherty; Poem in Traditional Form, 1 Pennant Robert, Altrincham; Humourous Poem, 1 Kevin Flaherty; Decorating, 1 Angela Cunningham, Rawdon; Short Story - 15 Years and Under, 1 Melissa Johnston, Halifax; Short Story – No Age Limit, 1 Andrew Wynne.

Trophies: Flegdling – Most Outstanding Poem in Classes P101 and P103, Zoe Wright, Bingley; Thorpe Trophy – Most Outstanding Poem in Classes P102 and P103, Isabel Mann, Bradford; Pennant Roberts Trophy for Any Poem of Specil Merit Overall, Robert D Kelly, Isle of Man; BBC Radio Leeds Poetry Cup for the Most Outstanding Poem in the Open Classes; Mark Binks Memorial Trophy for the Most Outstanding Story in Class A116, Andrea Wynne, Leeds.