About Us

Worksop Music and Drama Festival, Affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech of which Her Majesty the Queen is Patron.

The aims of the Worksop Music and Drama Festival are educational, providing a public platform from which keen performers can receive the encouragement and advice of an experienced adjudicator, and appreciate the value and enjoyment to be gained from performance. The festival is held in March every year, culminating in an Award Ceremony & Prize Winners Concert featuring some of the best performances from all sections.

Originally called The North Notts Music Competitions, Worksop Music and Drama Festival was founded in 1904, “for the continuation of good music and brightening of village life” It served the area of North Nottinghamshire known as The Dukeries, and continues to attract entrants from this area and beyond, including Sheffield, Doncaster, Nottingham, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire.

The first president was the Duke of Portland and Committee members included the Duke of Newcastle, Viscount and Viscountess Galway of Serlby Abbey and Lord and Lady Saville of Rufford Abbey and the local MP Sir Frederick Milner. The current Festival President is the international concert pianist, and former entrant, Benjamin Frith. Other past entrants have been Simon Dinnegan the guitarist and the actor Donald Pleasance.

In the past adjudicators have included H.Walford Davies and Cecil Sharpe in 1911, Dr. Herbert Howells in 1951, Dr Eric Thiman in 1960 and Professor George Pratt in 1999. A piano workshop during the Festival was held in 1986 by Dr Philip Cranmer, followed by further workshops in subsequent years for woodwind, strings and singing.

Today there are over 300 festivals across the UK and Ireland who are affiliated to “Performance” The British & International Federation of Festivals. “Performance” forms a unique interface between the amateur and professional worlds in the performing arts. Its educational value is of tremendous importance in the development of young people, promoting and honing a range of artistic and social skills which they will find invaluable throughout their lives. Some will go on to become the professional musicians, dancers, actors or arts managers of the future. Others will continue to give pleasure as active, gifted amateur performers, and all will enlarge that educated audience which is such a vital contributor to the strength of the arts and arts education for coming generations