Huddersfield’s ever popular annual music festival is expected to feature more than 5,000 performers in 2024.

Entries have poured in for the Mrs Sunderland Festival which will be held at Huddersfield Town Hall from February 14 to February 24 and people can now buy tickets for the dozens of events, workshops and concerts.

The festival features instrumental, vocal, choirs, musical theatre, speech and drama classes along with workshops for adult singers, special needs schools, key stage two schools, music for the brain and toddler workshops. In all there are 127 separate classes adjudicated by internationally recognised specialist adjudicators. Entries are now closed.

There is also a Festival Dance Showcase and the annual Young Musician of the Year competition is held during the festival for aspiring professional musicians from all over the country. Young musician has cash prizes of £1,000 for the winner, £500 for second and £300 for third.

The festival will have three concerts and the main one is the Last Night of the Festival Concert on Saturday, February 24 at 7pm which showcases some of the best performances from the festival along with the adult choir final class and a performance by the winner of the Young Musician of the Year.

Another concert is the culmination of a day’s singing at the adult choral workshop while the third is a glimpse of some of the performances at the key stage two workshop.

The festival adult workshop on Sunday, February 4 – a prelude to the festival – is called A Victorian Extravaganza and culminates in a concert at the town hall in the evening. Places are still available on the workshop.

It’s all centred on a performance of Trial by Jury by Gilbert and Sullivan and will also include some well known Victorian ballads. Trial by Jury was first performed in 1875 was an immediate success, initially running for 131 performances at London’s Royalty Theatre. The performance will be accompanied by a small orchestra.

The workshop will be led by one of the north’s best-known musicians, baritone soloist Thom Meredith, who conducts the renowned Colne Valley Male Voice Choir and has recently become musical director for the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir.

The Young Musician of the Year competition will be on Sunday, February 18, and is for young musicians of a high standard – at least grade 8 or equivalent – including those aiming towards or just beginning a professional career in music.

The contest is open to 18 to 24-year-olds across the United Kingdom and all 20 places are now filled.

The festival dance showcase will be on Monday, February 19, at 7pm. This is a non-competitive event which features dance groups and organisations who work hard throughout the year to develop and perfect their art. The festival has invited several of these groups to perform their specific style and skills in front of a live audience.

The KS2 singing workshop for children will be on the morning of Thursday, February 22, with an evening concert at 7pm.

It will be calledSign and Sing and will be led by Rhianydd Beaumont and Paul Whittaker, OBE. All the songs will be sung and simultaneously signed.

A toddler workshop on the morning of Monday, February 19, will be led by Early Years specialist Emily Reaves Bradley who will be leading parents, carers and their toddlers in a singing, playing and movement session using songs and rhymes. This session will encourage communication through music which is fundamental for child development. Places are still available.

A special needs workshop calledReach For The Stars on Tuesday, February 20, will see schools from Kirklees and Calderdale joining together in various dance, drama and musical activities. The morning starts with a workshop led by Dark Horse Theatre Group.

An afternoon tea dance on Tuesday, February 20, will celebrate the joy of singing with the Kirklees Dementia Hub and involve invited guests from various dementia support groups to enjoy the music, sing and dance to the music of their youth.

For more information and ticket prices go the festival website

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.