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Four hundred musicians to take part in revived Sheffield festival

Trisha Cooper
Trisha Cooper
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A Sheffield area steel town is reviving a 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 March 24th 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, young singing group No Identity, 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 at £10, £5 for 16s and under, free for accompanied under 12s: Box office 07939 256269; online www.ticketsource.co.uk/inyerfacearts and from Stocksbridge Keys, 524 Manchester Road, Stocksbridge.