70th Annual Co-operative Charity Festival comes to The Civic

The Civic hosts a special evening session on Wednesday 20 April to celebrate 70 years of the Co-operative Barnsley Youth Music & Drama Festival.


Taking place at Emmanuel Church from Monday 18 April to Friday 22 April, the week-long annual festival showcases the talents of hundreds of young drama and music enthusiasts from Barnsley and across Yorkshire, in an array of classes for individuals, duos, quartets and ensembles to larger groups of instrumentalists and choirs. The 70th Co-operative Youth Music & Drama Festival will conclude with ‘A Grand Finale Concert’ featuring all the Class Winners on the Friday evening at The Church, and a special evening session will be held The Civic on Wednesday 20 April.


Angela Dawson, Secretary from the Co-operative Barnsley Youth Music & Drama Festival said:

“We appreciate how difficult it is to bring the arts into schools, and the difficulties Music Services have in encouraging schools to be a part of this exciting and essential part of youth learning and discovery in the Arts. As part of our growing relationship with Barnsley Hub and Barnsley Music Services we have agreed to bring part of our festival into The Civic; with the goodwill of Alex Francis (Service Development Officer from Barnsley Music Service) and The Civic. We are really looking forward to an excellent evening of performances all adjudicated by a professional adjudicator who will give constructive feedback to support both performers and teachers alike.”


The Co-operative Barnsley Youth Music & Drama Festival at The Civic will include a performance by Barnsley Junior Band as part of the BBC Ten Piece Project. Angela explains “This year we have introduced special classes to incorporate the BBC Ten Pieces Project, as well as reviewing many of our individual and group classes to make Drama and Music accessible for all.” The BBC Ten Piece Project aims to open up the world of classical music to children and inspire them to develop their own creative responses to ten pieces of music through composition, dance or digital art.


Since its inception the Barnsley Youth Music and Drama Festival has been supported by the Co-operative movement and gained Charitable Status in 2006. The Festival has been independently organised by a voluntary Festival Committee since 2005 and is part of the Barnsley Music Education Hub.


Angela Dawson concludes:

“Our long-term expectations is to continue our relationship with the Barnsley Hub and encourage more young talent in the Barnsley schools to enter our festival.  This year we have an exceptionally high number of entries throughout the week, giving the people of Barnsley an excellent week of drama and music competitions from youngsters 3 – 20 years of age.”


Daily spectator tickets are available on the door from £2.50 – £5 each and children under 14 go free (if accompanied by an adult). For more information visit www.barnsleycymdfestival.co.uk or contact Festival chairman, Mrs Margaret Venables on 01126 752576 / info@barnsleycymdfestival.co.uk