Torbay Festival

Saturday, 24 February, 2024 to Saturday, 4 May, 2024

The competitive Festival movement was already well established when war broke out in 1939.  In 1940 a large number of evacuees were housed in Paignton, who attended school for half days only.  On the initiative of the Youth Service, and backed by businessmen and local residents, a number of activities were arranged in order to give children something useful to occupy their spare time.  As a result the first Festival was held in 1941 and Bill Coysh, with his musical background and Rotary and business contacts, was the ideal person to successfully organise this new project. 

In the first year just five classes were offered in Music and Speech, but by the early fifties, and with Dance then introduced, the Paignton and South West of England Festival (as it was then called) was the largest Festival in the south-west, matching any in the country.  Today we offer a wide range of classes in a variety of disciplines; from lieder to barbershop choirs; from piano recitals to jazz quartets; from dramatic scenes from Shakespeare to My Favourite Nursery Rhyme and Musical Theatre; from classical ballet to tap dance via Highland Fling.

Dance – Novice Festival 23rd and 24th of March.
Adjudicator: Miss Karen Blackburn

Dance – Open Festival 2nd – 8th/9th ofApril
Adjudicator: Miss Jill Redford

Music – 24th and 25th of February, 1st – 3rd of March, 17th of March
Adjudicator: Miss Nancy Litten

Drama – 2nd – 4th of May
Adjudicator: Miss Rebecca Vines