A Success For... The Guild Goes on!

Almost 90 performers took to the virtual stage for ‘The Guild Goes On!’, the online alternative for the 2020 Manx Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival.

With 16 dance entries, 18 drama performances and a fantastic 54 musical entrants, the show certainly did go on! Adjudicators Steven Roberts, David Fonville and Deborah Norris were highly impressed with the quality of the performances and provided each entrant with encouraging and valuable feedback.

In the dance section, entries ranged from ballet and tap to group modern dance. The musicians performed a varied mix which comprised piano, brass, violin and solo singing. Children formed the bulk with beautiful performances from their living rooms, often in costumes and looking very relaxed in their home environment.


Drama competitors opted primarily for the spoken word with set poems ‘If Once You Have Slept On An Island’ by Rachel Field and ‘Flying’ by J M Westrup. Meanwhile, adult performer Norman McGreggor-Edwards showcased the slightly gruesome ‘The Barking Creek Bell Ringer’s Daughter’ in a fine cockney accent.

Guild Chairman Anne Clarke, who submitted her own efforts in the drama section with a suitably apt performance of ‘Ward F4’ by Phoebe Hesketh, commented:

Although the main event was unable to go ahead this year, we’re absolutely delighted with the turnout for ‘The Guild Goes On!’. It was a lot of fun to organise and has kept the team very busy processing feedback from the adjudicators and sending it to entrants.

We would very much like to offer our thanks to Celton Manx for its help in making this year’s online festival a success, in addition to Dandara for its ongoing support. Radio presenter Judith Ley assisted greatly with the technical aspects and brought her usual enthusiasm to the process, and all three highly experienced professional adjudicators were a wonderful asset too.

However, the ones to thank most are the performers who took the time to record their efforts and send them in. It’s not easy to showcase your talents on video but everyone did a fabulous job and helped to make ‘The Guild Goes On!’ a wonderful success. Now, bring on the Manx Music Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival 2021!

Dandara Marketing Manager Angela Beresford added:

We thoroughly enjoy our involvement with the Guild and it was fantastic to see the organisers go that extra mile to ensure the show continued in 2020. The number of entrants just goes to show the passion that these competitors have for the Guild and the great community spirit it represents. We are proud to continue our support of the Festival and look forward to 2021.

Additionally the event organisers have received lovely feedback from participants. Sarah James whose son, Maximus, aged seven, submitted his spoken word application “Flying” by JM Westrup, said:

Thank you very much for sending through Maximus's certificate, he is absolutely delighted with it and the positive feedback from the adjudicator. This is a wonderful opportunity for children of all ages to express many talents.

While Emma Coren, mother of Anya whose daughter sang “Castle on a Cloud” from Les Miserables, commented:

It is a really lovely and thoughtful opportunity which you and The Guild committee have created for everyone in these strange times. Thank you so much for allowing our little Cinderella to join the fun, I'm really grateful and she will be thrilled!