The first Mrs. Sunderland Festival was held in 1889, whilst the great lady was still alive.
Named in her honour, the Festival was set up with the intention of seeking out singing talents of a similar prodigious nature to Mrs. Sunderland.
The festival has taken place in Huddersfield Town Hall every year since then, barring 1940 (the first year of World War II). For that inaugural Festival, Mrs. Sunderland was on hand to present the awards to the singers.
For over 200 years the Festival has been expanding from just a handful of competitors and categories, to the huge range of disciplines and genres that it encompasses today. Today the Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious of its kind in the world – with talented performers from all around the country looking to step into the spotlight for a few minutes and maybe even take a prize home.
With some of the most experienced adjudicators and tutors on hand to guide them, young people can gain valuable insight into fields such as Guitar, Jazz performance on a variety instruments, Popular singing, Spoken Word Recital and even Family based categories.
Although the initial aim of the Festival was to discover new talent, the Festival’s aims have now expanded to include a range of classes and informal adjudicating giving young people, from the age of 21 and under, the chance to gain a better understanding of their chosen specialisation. For a few pounds, young people can benefit from an extended amount of tuition allowing them to get some extra hints and tips before they take to the stage for their official adjudication.