A warm welcome to the 60th Dudley Festival of Music, Drama and Dance. We are very happy to be celebrating our Diamond Jubilee year.

On behalf of the Committee may I introduce to you the syllabus for 2020 where extra classes have been added in the Music and Drama sections.

Beginners’ classes for instrumentalists who have been learning for less than a year have been included, as well as graded classes in the Electronic Keyboard section. There are new classes for Harp, with Junior Recital classes in the Music and Drama sections.

Dudley Festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals. The Committee is always seeking ways of developing talent and to provide an opportunity for competitors of all ages and abilities to perform in front of an audience. Each competitor or group will receive constructive comments, and advice on how the performance may be improved from an experienced Federation adjudicator. This will be invaluable when preparing for examinations and future festivals, and will give vital experience and confidence in facing challenges in life.

At present the Festival has over 300 classes.

Trophies are awarded in most of these and are retained for a year. Certificates are given to competitors who are placed first, second and third. A first place medal is given to the winners in classes where the specified age limit is up to 18 years.

Please take time to browse, and we look forward to receiving your entries for our range of classes. In particular we would like more entries in Strings, Guitars, Keyboard, Brass, Orchestras and Choirs.

Dudley Festival does not receive sponsorship or grants from Societies or Companies and has to generate its own income from entry fees, admission fees, the sale of programmes and a small income from advertising. Although the costs of organising a festival increase each year, we are pleased to announce that in most classes we have been able to retain the fees charged in 2019.

Some years ago there was a Friends group which helped to raise money towards the costs incurred, but this has now disbanded. If anyone feels they could form a new Friends group for this purpose please contact the Chairman.

The Festival is very grateful for the support it receives from local people and organizations. The members of the Rotary Club of Dudley have helped in many ways over the years, and without this we would be struggling to continue. For a Festival of our size we do need lots of help, especially on Festival Days. We need adjudicators’ stewards, door stewards, file collectors, scribes and announcers for Dance and office staff in order to provide sufficient cover and to ensure the safety of all who attend.

We have a small team of volunteers with great commitment, so if you are able to spare some time to help with one of the many jobs, before and on the day, please get in touch with us.

The Festival is for everyone, so if you enjoy the Arts, please come and join us either as a competitor or as a supporter. We look forward to seeing many familiar faces in 2020 and to meeting new ones. We can assure you that you will all be very welcome.

Mary Burns