Excitement building ahead of next month's Choral Speaking Festival

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 10 February 2024

Rotary Oldham Metro Choral Speaking Festival is on track for mega success this year, say the organisers.

The Festival launched in 1985 and since its inauguration, more than 60,000 children, aged 4 to 11 years, have taken part.

Organisers say it has grown to be the largest festival of its kind in Europe and believed to be the second largest in the world.

Rotarian Frank Bolger said: ”The event is a Festival not a competition, and children recite poetry to their highest standard and for enjoyment and in no way to be branded as losers or failures.

“The excitement and enjoyment can be seen on the faces of those taking part as well as the reaction of the teachers and audiences.

"There is wide range of poetry recited, but one characteristic has been consistent humour.

"“Gran can you Rap” and “the Dog ate my homework' are some of the popular poems recited.”

Frank added: "For most of the years, the home of Choral Speaking was Oldham Coliseum and, though we are saddened by its closure, we have secured a new venue - The Queen Elizabeth Hall.

"And this year promises a record year with over 80 classes involving over 2,000 children taking part from all over the Oldham Borough over three days - March 5, 6, and 7.”

Rotary Oldham Metro organise the invitations, arranging sessions, the appointment of the adjudicator, ensuring the days run to schedule and ensure all the performances take place on the days.

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