108th Wensleydale Tournament of Music and Speech starts in Leyburn

The Aysgarth Singers at last year's tournament.

The 108th Wensleydale Tournament of Music and Speech opens its doors for classes this week at the Methodist Chapel school rooms in Leyburn.

The senior speech classes start on Tuesday at 6pm with a variety of competitive classes ranging from own composition poetry and prose to local dialect, Shakespeare sonnets to mention but a few, all enthusiastically contested by entrants from as far afield as Lincolnshire.

Senior classes take pace again on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

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The junior speech classes see local schools and individual children ranging from 4 to 18 years taking part in a number of poetry, prose, sight reading and group speaking activities amongst others.

Junior classes take place on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

All competitors will be professionally adjudicated by professional actress Maryrose Swarbrick.

A full listing of class times is available on www.dalesmusic.co.uk and a list of entrants and class times is published in the official tournament programme which is available now from Hewson’s newsagents, in Leyburn.

The second week of this historic festival  – the third longest running in the UK since 1898 – featuring the junior and senior music classes commences Wednesday, March 21 at 9.30am at the same venue and culminates on Friday, March 23 with a full day of splendid musical competition and entertainment at the Garden Rooms at Tennants from 9.30am.

The adjudicator will be musician Helen Deakin.

Simon Greenslade, spokesman for the tournament, said: “We welcome supportive audiences to all our classes and look forward to seeing many of you over the fortnight.”