Happy 2018 everyone and thanks for visiting our blog! This year our resolution is to keep everyone up-to-date throughout the year with all things to do with the festival. Here, is where you will find all the information you need about being a part of the festival – as either an audience member or a performer – as well as updates on lots of our past and present participants!
For the first blog of the year, we have decided to share some facts with you about Aberdeen’s oldest festival of Music, Speech, Drama and Dance…
The festival has been running for over 100 years
Aberdeen’s Festival of Music, Speech, Drama and Dance was founded in 1909 by Stanford Terry, a History professor at the University of Aberdeen. His aim for the festival was to encourage more performing and music-making across the North East of Scotland. More than 100 years later and the objective is still the same with the festival remaining an integral feature of Aberdeen’s performing arts calendar.
It’s not all about the competition
Aberdeen’s festival prides itself on inclusivity. If you look through the syllabus you will notice there are over 400 classes for performers of all ages and abilities. We believe that a bit of healthy competition is often a great way of encouraging excellence however, the motto of the festival is that of composer Sir Henry Walford Davies, “Not to gain a prize or defeat a rival, but to pace one another on the road to excellence”. With this in mind, you will notice that are a number of non-competitive classes in the syllabus and participants always have the option to enter in a non-competitive capacity by indicating this preference on their entry form. This is ideal for performers who would like to be part of a performing event and receive an adjudication, without the pressure of a competition.
It takes place across the city
As there are so many classes if would be impossible to have the whole festival running from just one space. This is why for the week of the 4th – 8th of June 2018 the festival will be taking over the city of Aberdeen. This year we are running in 5 locations: The Beach Ballroom Holburn West Church, Mannofield Church, Hebron Evangelical Church and The Boys’ Brigade Hall. Why not take the chance to try and visit as many of the venues as you can during festival week!
It’s not only about one week!
Although organising the week of the festival takes up an enormous amount of organising, the festival is wholly committed to engaging its community in performing events throughout the year. Last year the festival organised Easter workshops with professional actors and musicians for a variety of age groups and abilities. This year there will be more workshops and lots more performing opportunities for musicians, actors and dancers! Keep updated about these events here or on our Facebook page
It is run ENTIRELY by volunteers
One of the most incredible things about this festival is that no one gets paid to organise it or to take part in it; its success can be purely be attributed to a shared love of the performing arts and a commitment to ensuring they remain prevalent throughout our city. Our charitable organisation is run by a core council of dedicated members, supported by a number of smaller committee groups who are able to advise on specialist areas. The council meets roughly once a month between August and June to ensure that all tasks are being undertaken to allow for a smooth festival week. If you think you might like to be involved there is always space on our committees for those enthusiastic about the performing arts and the successful running of our city’s oldest and original Festival of Music, Speech and Drama!
If there is anything else you would like to know about the festival or if you would like to be involved in volunteering in any capacity please comment below, get in touch via Facebook or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.