The ninth Robin Hood Festival was another huge success! With bigger audiences and more performers than ever before, it really has become a highlight in South Yorkshire’s arts calendar.
As is now tradition, the festival began with a collaboration between Hill House School and Stone Hill School. Stone Hill provides an outstanding education for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. Joining together to create ‘The Stone House Choir’, they sang many musical favourites, including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and an emotional rendition of “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman.
In a first for the Robin Hood Festival, this collaboration debuted an exciting Drama workshop in the afternoon, culminating in a performance of “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from Annie: The Musical.
The competitive element of the festival began with an exhilarating evening of instrumental ensembles and percussion performances. Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra and Full Fat Funk wowed the audience, gaining themselves an invitation to the Outstanding Performers’ Concert for a chance to compete for the overall Senior Instrumental title.
The Friday evening saw choirs from across Doncaster singing their hearts out, with Crookesbroom Primary Academy coming away eventual winners in a hard-fought contest.
Saturday welcomed instrumentalists competing in brass, guitar, piano, woodwind and strings. It was wonderful to see nearly 80 performances over the course of the day. The adjudicators were amazed to see so much talent across a variety of disciplines.
Sunday was dedicated to Drama, Musical Theatre and Classical Voice, with performers ranging from 5 to 18 years old. In another first for the festival, Duologues were introduced to the Drama classes. Again, our adjudicators were in awe of the talent on display. Adjudicating the Senior Musical Theatre class, Anita Adams had a difficult time placing the competitors, with so many performing to a professional standard. The pool of talent was so great that three performers were invited back to the Outstanding Performers’ Concert!
It was a weekend of firsts as the festival welcomed its own burger bar, with The Street Shack providing gourmet burgers to our festival goers.
The grand finale of the festival, The Outstanding Performers’ Concert, was extra special this year as it landed on Mother’s Day. It was the perfect treat for Mums and Grandmas, with the audience being offered wine and nibbles, as well as an afternoon of incredible music and drama. One Grandma in particular received a very special gift, watching one of her Grandsons perform a drama piece written, about her, by her other Grandson! Well done Isaac Harrison and his writer cousin, Evan Watkinson, great teamwork!
The Outstanding Performers’ is a chance for the exceptional competitors to return to the stage for a celebration of the talented musicians, singers and actors that take to the stage throughout the weekend. This year, our Overall winners were:
Crookesbroom Primary Academy –Junior Excellence
Poppy Bazlinton – Intermediate Excellence
Molly Elliot – Senior Dramatic Excellence
Elisha Adams-Thomas – Senior Vocal Excellence
Isabelle Osborne – Senior Musical Excellence
Well done to each and every one of the competitors. This festival proves how much passion South Yorkshire and the surrounding areas have for music and drama, despite these subjects so often being the first to suffer from budget cuts nationwide.
Thank you to everybody who came along to support, to our sponsors, Zenza and Rejus, to the volunteers who helped over the course of the weekend, and to Hill House School for use of the facilities.
We look forward to doing it all again next year!