Music festival revival for Sheffield steel town

Broadcaster Trisha Cooper is compering the Saturday evening concert
Broadcaster Trisha Cooper is compering the Saturday evening concert
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A Sheffield area steel town is reviving its music festival after 80 years to kickstart a fund to help young musicians develop their talents.

Four hundred local musicians are busy polishing up their performances to stage the Valley Music Festival in Stocksbridge.

The festival on Saturday is an all-day event with free music throughout the day culminating in a ticketed evening concert with music to suit all ages compered by BBC broadcaster Trisha Cooper.

The festival is a joint presentation by Inyerface Arts and Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir.

A music festival was started in the district in 1907 by local GP Dr Walter Midgeley Robertshaw and ran for more than 30 years.

Organisers hope the revival will become an annual event and proceeds will go to young people who have musical ambition.

Local music groups, including schools, will perform throughout the day at the Venue and at the Fox Valley shopping centre bandstand.

Two hundred musicians will take part in the evening concert at The Venue, for which tickets are selling fast.

Donations will be encouraged at the daytime events.

Community musician, soprano and teacher Hilary Osborn, who leads Inyerface Arts, said: “This has been an amazing project to work on.

“There is a real heart and support in the community for this to happen.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to bring people together to feel good and to celebrate a love of music and performing and to share that with the community.”

Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir secretary Rob Firth said: “It is a wonderful thing to bring so many young and older musicians together.

“Never before have so many musicians from the district performed together on the same day.”

Taking part in the evening Saturday Night Live concert are Deepcar Brass Band, Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir, Waldershelf Singers, the folk-rock band Red House, classical pianist Matt Johnson and young singing group No Identity.

The line-up is completed by Steel Valley Beacon Arts, who will sing numbers from their locally-written hit musicals, the Inyerface Band and special guests.

The evening will end with the massed voices singing the Rita MacNeil classic Working Man.

Concert tickets cost £10, £5 for 16s and under and are free for accompanied under-12s.

Box office: 07939 256269 or or buy tickets from Stocksbridge Keys, 524 Manchester Road.

lLooking ahead, a Gilbert and Sullivan celebration is back in Buxton this summer. The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival left the town amid stormy headlines in 2013 but its National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera company has returned.

Events to celebrate 25 years of the festival include a silver jubilee gala dinner and concert in the Pavilion Arts Centre on July 30.

During the following week there are new productions of The Pirates of Penzance, Ruddigore, Trial by Jury, The Sorcerer and Haddon Hall.There is also a talk about Haddon Hall on August 1 and Derby G&S Company perform The Mikado on August 3.

Box office: 01298 72190 or