The 12th annual Manx Folk Awards, Aundyryn Kiaull-Theay Vannin, will be celebrating Manx language and music for five days in March.
Entries are now open for Island Schools and music teachers to put forward students to take part in poetry, dance, music and singing.
During the five days of friendly competition it’s expected that over 1000 young people, aged from pre-school to secondary, will take part in over 92 classes.
Organised jointly by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) and Culture Vannin, the Awards will take place from 26 – 30 March at Kensington Arts and Rosemount Church in Douglas, and in St Johns Methodist Hall.
Each year has a special theme, and for 2023 it is 'Manx Calendar Customs'. The theme is reflected in the choir set pieces and poetry recitation classes, and gives inspiration for new composition.
As well as an own choice Manx song, young choirs are asked to learn the same set song, so they can all take part in a communal sing-a-long after the judges make their decisions. The dance classes also end with a group dance, giving performers the chance to watch their peers and perform with others their age.
The emphasis at the Manx Folk Awards is on having fun while celebrating Manx Culture, and the organisers and judges aim to provide a supportive environment for complete beginners, as well as more seasoned performers – giving positive feedback and advice for future performances.
Younger solo performers can also bring a friend onto the stage with them if they need to, to help those who are new to the stage or feeling nervous.
Some popular classes include the Feddan whistle class, where whole classes have learnt the penny whistle and take the stage perform together. There is also the Manx Gaelic own choice duologue class where comedy and costume is always a feature, and there is even a comedy Music Hall class.
Dancers are offered the opportunity to perform to live music played by the Manx Folk Awards house band, and the organisers also offer preliminary competitions in schools for those with lots of keen entrants.
DESC Advisory Teacher for the Manx Curriculum, and organiser of the event, Jo Callister said:
‘The Department and Culture Vannin really hope the 2023 Folk Awards will carry on the success of last year. We were bowled over by the entries in 2022 – especially in Manx dancing, where we had to add an extra afternoon of competitions to accommodate. We work closely with schools to provide support and resources to encourage entries and are proud that our adjudicators and programme encourage such a friendly and supportive atmosphere for competitions.’
Dr Chloe Woolley, Manx Music Development Officer at Culture Vannin and organiser of the event, added:
‘The Manx Folk Awards gives schools a real focus for learning and creating new Manx songs, tunes, poems and dances, and the friendly atmosphere during the week intends to encourage all schools to get involved in celebrating Manx culture and have a fun time whilst doing it!’
Schools and private music teachers can view the 2023 syllabus online, for more information contact Jo Callister at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for entries is Monday 13 February.