Suffolk Festival of Performing Arts

The Suffolk Festival of Performing Arts is for people of all ages and a wide range of ability. Amateur musicians, dancers and actors have the chance to perform in a friendly and supportive environment, with the constructive advice of a professional adjudicator. Most classes are competitive, but we encourage a friendly atmosphere in which the emphasis is not on winning, but on celebrating a wealth of talent, dedication and achievement.

The Festival takes place throughout October, followed by the Gala Concert of participating performers in November and the Award Winners’ Concert the following April. Performers often appear in lunchtime concerts around the county and at other events such as the Suffolk Music Day held in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, in July.

Andrew Leach, chairman, writes:

“I really enjoyed last year’s Festival, highlights being an amazing 12-hour day of Senior Speech, a jaw-dropping display of acrobatic Dance and many fine performances by enthusiastic musicians of all ages. Last year we welcomed two new patrons, Rachel Sloane and Stephen Foster. Both of them are very experienced Radio Suffolk presenters and we greatly appreciated their talents when they presented the Award Winners’ Concert and the Gala Concert. This made everything go that much more smoothly and helped put performers at their ease.”

Some feedback after last year’s Festival:

Good facilities. Very well organised. Helpful and encouraging volunteers - thank you.

We have participated in the festival for the past 4 years and love it because it gives a great opportunity to perform live on a fabulous instrument. There is always a good friendly but competitive atmosphere and the feedback from the judges is always so constructive.

We really enjoyed the Festival, it was well organised and held at a great venue.

As always the Festival gave amateur musicians the opportunity to play to each other and to a like-minded audience, on a fine instrument somewhere outside the home.

For us the highlight and completely unexpected bonus was listening to all the feedback that the adjudicators gave - it was like having a masterclass in performance and really made the whole event special, as was listening to all the other performers and meeting them and their families.’

We are very grateful for volunteers to help with the day-to-day running of the Festival. Please get in touch if you would like to help

Good news this year:

  • Prices held at 2015 levels!
  • Discount for early entries
  • New concerto and ensemble classes
  • Prizes totalling over £2,000

Lots of opportunities to participate, including:


  • Classical Ballet
  • Jazz
  • Contemporary
  • Modern
  • Tap
  • Song & Dance
  • Acrobatic
  • Improvisation


  • Choral, Orchestral, Vocal
  • Piano & Keyboard, Strings, Wind
  • NEW Concerto and Mixed Ensemble classes

Speech and Drama

  • Solo Verse, Prose Reading and Speaking
  • Solo Shakespeare
  • Bible Reading, Choral Verse, Duologues
  • Solo Acting, Modern Drama, Group Drama