Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama returns this weekend

Image: Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama
Image: Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama

The annual Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama returns to the Corn Exchange, Harpur Suite and Howard Room this weekend for an eight-day celebration of the performing arts.

From Saturday, 2 to Sunday, 10 March, 1,500 musicians and actors of all ages and abilities will take to the stage and perform in one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals in the UK.

Over eight days the finest musical and dramatic talent will be showcased in over 250 competitive classes covering most musical instruments and genres and a wide variety of speech and drama disciplines.

Members of the public can attend any of the sessions for just £2.50 and under 10s are free. For just £13 you can purchase a season ticket which allows you to attend an unlimited number of classes throughout the week.

Choose from Classical to Musical Theatre, Jazz to Asian, Pop to Folk, as well as Speech and Drama classes including Verse Speaking, Creative Performance, Shakespeare and Acting.

The Festival also features special categories for school groups, Special School groups, orchestras and wind bands.

The whole event begins with a huge celebration of the region’s junior and senor choirs on Saturday, 2 March and on Friday (8 March), the Festival will host the Bedford Music Hub Showcase, featuring groups from the Bedford Music Hub organisations.

The Bedford Music Hub’s focus is to ensure that all children and young people across Bedford Borough have access to high-quality, inclusive and varied musical experiences and progression routes. The performances will take place from 5:30pm on Friday evening in the Corn Exchange and are open for all to attend.

The traditional Gala Concert at Bedford Corn Exchange will bring the Festival to a close on Saturday, 11 March, featuring the most outstanding performers from the last eight days, who will compete for the overall prizes for Speech and Drama, Music, Piano, Senior Singing, Junior Singing and Choral Singing.

“Although competitive in nature, the Festival is an annual celebration of the talent that can be found in Bedfordshire and the surrounding area and gives young and old alike the chance to share their passion for the performing arts,” said a Festival spokesperson.

Tickets are available to purchase on the door and a programme detailing all of the classes can be bought in advance at the Corn Exchange box office for £4 or at the Festival Box office during the Festival week. Full details at the Festival website here.

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