The Devizes Eisteddfod is a five-day competitive festival of music, drama, speech, dance, writing, art and photography for people of all ages, who may enter individually or through a school or group.
It is held in a number of venues in Devizes, Wiltshire, England in November each year.
The Devizes Eisteddfod classes cover the following areas:
- Church Organ
- Woodwind (incl Recorder)
- Folk Music
- Musical Theatre
- Verse Speaking
- Art (2D and 3D)
The standard ranges from Beginner to Grade 8+ and the ages range from 5 to 18 years.
See the Syllabus for more details.
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The dates for next year's Eisteddfod are :
Dance: Sat/Sun 16/17 Nov 2019
Music, Speech and Drama: Thu/Fri/Sat, 21/22/23 Nov 2019.
The Syllabus for 2019, containing details of all the classes and entry forms, will be available in mid-May 2019 from Winkworth offices, Market Place, Devizes, SN10 1HT, or to download from the Information page of the website.
The Eisteddfod Programme 2019 will be available (price £3) from Thursday 7th November 2019 from Winkworth, Devizes Market Place, SN10 1HT or by post (£4.50 incl. p&p) and at the venues during the Eisteddfod.
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The Eisteddfod was founded in 1946, following a small event in 1945 to raise funds for the Congregational Church (which was opposite Wadworth’s Brewery). It was started by the late Ray Smith (uncle of the current patron Simon May) who remained as Secretary/Director until 1970. It proved such a success that it became an annual event, held in halls in Devizes including the Town Hall and The Corn Exchange.
Michael Oliver then took over as Director and the event grew more and more successful, eventually moving to Devizes School. Another chapter was written when, in 1995, the Eisteddfod was taken over by Dauntsey’s School at West Lavington under the Directorship of Chris Thompson, the School’s Director of Music.
In 1988, the Jazz star Jamie Cullum won a piano solo in the U10 section – and our Patron, Simon May, won an U10 piano duet in 1953.
There was no Eisteddfod in 2004 but the competition resumed in 2005 in Devizes under the Directorship of Ken Morrison. Frank Shipway took over for 2010. The current executive chairman is Simon Jacobs. In 2013 Michael Johnson, the well-known violin and piano teacher, examiner and musical director agreed to become Director of the Eisteddfod.
The Eisteddfod now also organises the annual Young Musician of Wiltshire and the Wiltshire Choir of the Year competitions.