We send our condolences to our Patron Her Majesty The Queen on the death of her husband His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.



The 2021 Festival in a virtual format is now going to take place on the 13th – 18th April
(Only the Music and Speech & Drama sections)

We are using the Play & Perform system  

Quick-Start Guide To Virtual Festival Videos

This document gives you a brief introduction to uploading your performance videos and
any scores or scripts you need to provide for adjudication.
The festival will be using video entries that will be viewed by the adjudicator so when you
have made your entries you will need to:
• upload your performance video
• upload a copy of the score for the adjudicator to use
Videos will be uploaded to the festival’s private Dropbox account. You do not need your
own account to use this facility – you will be guided through the process and transferred to
Dropbox to complete the upload.

Your account with Play&Perform has been created for you by the festival and you will have
been sent an email with a link for you to complete setting up your account. In this year’s
circumstances the details of your entries have already been entered in the system for you.

The next stage is to upload your videos so that adjudicator can view them and provide
their comments.

Log in to the Play&Perform entry system and follow the instructions below to upload your
video and, if needed, a copy of your score or script.


  1. Labelling the file correctly ensures that it will be stored in the right folder in the IWMDDF Dropbox. Incorrect labelling or failure to supply a script or score is likely to result in the entry not being adjudicated.
  2. Label your video file with your first name, the initial of your family name, and the class number, separated with underscores, like this: Hermione_G_CLASS_123 or Harry_P_CLASS_456
  3. Retain the original suffix (.mp4, .avi, .mov etc), e.g. Harry_P_CLASS_456.mp4
  4. You, or the person who entered you, will log in to the Springboard entry system, Play&Perform, and follow the instructions there for uploading the file.
  5. You will also need to provide and upload an electronic copy of your script or score (sheet music).

Guidelines for filming

We hope you will find the following guidelines helpful in preparing your recording, labelling it, and uploading it to Play & Perform.


  1. Is the room quiet?
  2. Are you likely to be disturbed by phones ringing, by people (or animals), or by message alerts?
  3. Does your recording device have enough battery and storage capacity?
  4. Is there enough light to ensure you are clearly visible in the recording?
  5. Have you selected the lowest definition setting on your camera/video device?
  6. Have you done a sound check to ensure the recording device captures the full dynamic range of your performance clearly, without any distortion?
  7. Have you checked the balance of the accompaniment against your voice/instrument on a recording?
  8. Are you in a comfortable position, in full view of the camera?
  9. Is there anything in the background you would not wish to be seen by people you don’t know?
  10. Have you planned how you are going to announce your piece?
  11. Remember that you are giving a performance that has to be filmed all in one take. (You cannot paste several takes together.) Take time to compose yourself before you start your performance.
  12. Allow at least 3 seconds after you have pressed record before you announce your piece.
  13. At the end of your performance, allow at least 3 seconds before stopping the recording.
  14. Finally – play through your recording to make sure you are happy with your performance. If you are not, you could consider having another go. What you cannot do is edit out the mistakes!

Setting up your recording device

  • You can film your performance on a smartphone or tablet, or any audio-visual recording device (e.g. digital video camera, laptop).
  • A tripod is useful for improving camera stability. If you don’t have one, place the recording device on a stable surface to keep it still during the performance.
  • If filming on a smartphone or tablet, turn the device to airplane mode to avoid notifications or calls interfering with the recording.
  • If you have the choice, consider whether a portrait or landscape image will work best for what you are presenting.
  • Please ensure that the size of your video file is as small as possible by adjusting the settings for your camera/video before you begin to record. Choose the lowest setting possible (720p HD or similar). This will make it easier to upload the file and it will still be good enough quality for the adjudicator, and for playing to the rest of the class.

Location and camera angle

  • Film in a quiet room undisturbed by outside noise (including ringing phones) and movement (such as free-roaming pets)!
  • The performance area should be well-lit and without dark shadows or bright light (for instance direct sunlight) that may make it hard for the adjudicator to see the performance.
  • You should be facing the light and minimising the light behind you.
  • Try to have a plain background. If this is not possible check what is in shot.
  • Where possible, the camera should be positioned at eye level.
  • If you intend to move around during your performance, make sure you stay within shot, or arrange for someone else to record you while keeping the camera as steady as possible.
  • If you are playing a musical instrument, ensure that your hands and face and the instrument are in view at all times. (See below for specific advice on this.)
  • As a singer or instrumentalist you will probably find you get the best recorded sound quality (avoid distortion) in a room with heavy curtains and lots of cushions, rather than somewhere that is very resonant. (The opposite of what you might think!)

Filming your performance

  • Remember that the submitted performance video has to be one continuous take, incorporating all pieces/movements to be played, with no editing.
  • Ensure that the smartphone or camera has sufficient storage capacity to hold the recording, and that any batteries are fully charged, or the device is plugged into the mains.
  • Most recording devices will adjust their brightness settings automatically, but you can also tweak them manually, if necessary.
  • If the recording device is being held by another person, make sure that the microphone isn’t being covered by their hand!
  • Test the camera and sound-recording equipment by filming a short section of the piece and playing it back to check the quality before filming the whole performance. The sound should be loud and clear but without any distortion. (Consider also making a practice recording of loud and quiet parts of your performance, to check that they are not distorted or inaudible.)
  • After the device is switched to ‘record’, allow at least 3 seconds before making your announcement. At the end, allow at least 3 seconds after the performance before switching off. This will ensure a smooth ending when it is played during the festival.

Guidance for speech & drama performers

  • Ensure that your performance space is large enough for any movement involved.
  • Show as much of your body as necessary; a head and shoulders shot may be all that is required.
  • Make sure you stay in frame during the entire performance, and if you’re using props or costumes, that they don’t obstruct your presentation unnecessarily.
  • The camera should ideally be placed at eye level.
  • Where to look? If you are talking to an unseen character, picture them just off camera. If directly addressing the audience, look down the lens. This would also apply to prose reading and poems.
  • Remember to announce the piece you are about to perform, including the author.

Guidance for instrumentalists and singers

  • Remember to check the tuning of your instrument before the recording.
  • If using a music stand, make sure it is not obscuring the camera’s view of your face and hands, and of your instrument.
  • Please announce, slowly and clearly, the name of the piece and the name of the composer.
  • Woodwind and brass instruments: A side-on or diagonal camera angle is recommended. Your face, hands, and your whole instrument must be in the camera view at all times.
  • String instruments: The camera should have a clear view of your face, bow and hands.
  • Singers: Try to show the top half of your body. If your performance includes movement, make sure you stay in view during the entire performance. (Musical Theatre and Film Music: see also the guidance for Speech & Drama performers above.)
  • Piano: Both hands should be in shot. The whole instrument need not be seen, but the full range of keys used in the piece should be in view. If possible, include your pedalling foot.
  • Guitar: Sit in a suitable chair that enables you to perform comfortably.


Hopefully, you will be able to get together with an accompanist to record your performance. If this is not possible, consider the following options:

  • Play with an accompaniment specially recorded for you.
  • Play with a professional backing track, maybe one provided by an exam board, or purchased and downloaded online.
  • Play your piece without an accompaniment, if necessary.
  • If using a pre-recorded accompaniment, you will need to play it on a separate device that is loud enough for you to hear and for your recording device to capture the sound. Try to put the source of the accompaniment sound close to you, to ensure the best balance on your recording.
  • Do a test recording before filming your performance to ensure you’re happy with the final sound balance. Make sure you try out the quietest and loudest moments in the piece.

If you have any queries please use the contact form.


Because of the change of dates and format Ben Costello is replacing Andrea Calledine as Music Vocal adjudicator

Follow our FB page to keep up to date with details

If you have any queries please message our FB page or use the contact form on this website.


2021 SPEECH & DRAMA Syllabus



2021 MUSIC syllabus



MUSIC – (VOCAL) – Benjamin Costello MA, PGDip, BMus, FRSA

Ben is a freelance musical director, artistic director, adjudicator, singing coach and accompanist, working internationally. He is also Artistic Director of Thames Concerts, Musical Director of Southampton Choral Society, Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers, Chorus Master for the Leith Hill Musical Festival, Assistant Artistic Director of Thames Philharmonic Choir, and on the faculty at Laine Theatre Arts. He works throughout the UK and overseas as a generalist music adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals.

A specialist in musical theatre, with his work in that field embracing musical direction, singing teaching, accompanying and dramaturgy, Ben has worked extensively for leading colleges including Arts Ed (London), Mountview Academy, Guildford School of Acting, Laine Theatre Arts and the London College of Music, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Trinity Laban, Drama Studio London, the Royal Academy of Music, and also at the universities of London, Surrey, Kingston, Portsmouth and Southampton. Countless of his former students enjoy successful careers in the West End and beyond.

Born and based in London, Ben trained initially as a flautist, before majoring in piano, singing and conducting. His early career included répétiteur work for London opera companies and ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, and he remains much sought-after as an outstanding accompanist in musical theatre. He is a guest conductor and workshop leader with various choirs, and as an accompanist and coach collaborates with countless singers and instrumentalists.

Ben is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, organising and chairing the Company’s annual musical direction scholarship. Outside of music he is a keen motorcyclist.

MUSIC (INSTRUMENTAL) – Belinda Mikhail BMus(Hons),PgDipRCM,ARCM

Belinda Mikhaïl was awarded the Associated Board and the Queen Mother Scholarships to study piano and singing as a joint first study at the Royal College of Music where she won the Hopkinson Gold Medal for her final recital. Since graduating she has travelled extensively performing both as a soloist and as a chamber musician and has appeared as a concerto soloist at the major London Concert Halls.

She has made numerous recordings for Sony BMG and Universal and is a vocal soloist on EMI’s Vocalise album as used in trailers for ER, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. She appears as the featured soloist on many film soundtracks and her solo piano playing of the theme from Chariots of Fire was heard at every medal ceremony at the London Olympic Games.

Belinda is also in demand as a vocal coach for classical, pop and rock singers and runs an extensive private teaching practice. She has trained performers as diverse as Siouxsie Sioux, Jennifer Ellison, Jack Garrett, Cathy Tyson, the Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche, as well as the world-renowned dancer Akram Khan. Her students are enjoying major roles in theatre companies up and down the country as well as West End Shows such as Chicago, Dreamgirls, Haddestown, Dirty Dancing, Book of Mormon and High School Musical and the hit TV series’, Downton Abbey and Broadchurch.

Belinda’s work as an adjudicator has seen her travel extensively and in 2018 she was invited to Trinidad and Tobago where she adjudicated their month long biennial Music Festival. Future trips will see her adjudicate both in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. She thoroughly enjoys listening to a wide variety of music and meeting a wealth of musicians as she travels in her role as a member of the British & International Federation of Festivals.


SPEECH & DRAMA – Katrina Mulvihill RBTC(Hons QTS), LRAM, AGSM, ALAM, IPA

Katrina Mulvihill studied at The Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and feels privileged to have been part of the unique three year Actor/Teacher Course. Having graduated with Honours, she won a Scholarship to The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went on to study Opera, Musical Theatre, Acting and Piano for a further two years. Katrina, as professional Soloist and Principle, has appeared at many prestigious venues over the years performing in Plays, Operas, Recitals and Concerts at The Drury Lane Theatre, The Shaw Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, The Purcell Room and the QEH.

Katrina is an experienced Director, as well as performer, and has enjoyed producing and directing plays, concerts and shows with adults through to young children in a variety of styles ranging from Pantomime and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Light Operettas through to Shakespeare and Grand Opera. A longstanding member of LAMDA’s Examining Board, for over 30 years, she has also regularly lectured and given Master classes for LAMDA and other multiple agencies in Mime, improvisation, Acting, Voice Production and Musical Theatre to name but a few.

Katrina is Headteacher of a large Independent School and Nursery in Gidea Park, Essex and an Adjudicator with the British and International Federation of Festivals.


The Isle of Wight Music, Dance and Drama Festival (IWMDDF) has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. The Award, created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
The Festival has been inspiring many in the community to participate in the Performing Arts since 1924 and in 2020 is celebrating its 90th year (there having been a break during WWII). It takes place annually, in March, using four venues in three Island towns, attracting over 2000 entries in around 400 classes, enabled through the dedication and hard work of over 80 volunteers, whose ages range from 18 to late eighties, planning the competition throughout the year prior to the actual event. New volunteers are always welcome!
There are classes in speech, drama, vocal and instrumental music for individuals and groups, ranging from classical to pop and rock and the dance section which is popular with mainland and Island entrants alike and includes ballet, tap and modern classes. The event, judged by professional adjudicators, is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals.
Over the years, many young participants have attained successful careers in the arts, including the award-winning film director, Anthony Minghella, CBE, who first gained his love for the theatre while taking part in the festival. His sister, Gioia Minghella, is currently our President.
Representatives of the festival will receive the award on the Island from Mrs Susie Sheldon JP, Lord Lieutenant, later this summer.

To keep up to date with what is happening please follow our Facebook page.

We would like to thank all those taking part for their cooperation and understanding during the Festival and particularly when we had no option other than to cancel the last four days of the Festival. We are looking at trying to reschedule those four days later in the year.


The Phillips Family Trophy for the highest mark in girls’ vocal solo classes across the age range 13-18 years: Millie Lake and Sophia Houghton – 89.

Marion Feben Memorial Cup for the Highest Solo Marks in the Vocal Classes (except Choral classes) in the Senior Section: Sue Devine and Paul Stevens – 87.

Mrs Florence Duggan Rose Bowl for the Highest Mark in the Junior Section: Thomas Nash – 90

John Flower Cup to the Choir gaining the Highest Overall Marks in the Senior and Junior Sections: Solent City Chorus – 88

Caroline Timms Cup for the Highest Marks in the Vocal competitions for ages 14 & under: Lyla Hunter and Millie Lake – 89.

Caroline Timms Cup for the Highest Marks in the Vocal competitions for ages 14 & under: Lyla Hunter and Millie Lake – 89.

Sally-Ann Fairall Memorial Award for the choir showing the most promise as chosen by the Adjudicator: Carisbrooke Primary School – 86.

CG Crawley Cup for the Highest Marks in the Composition Classes in the Senior Section: Andrew Pellow – 87.

Norman Thurston Cup for the Highest Marks in the String Classes in the Senior & Junior sections: Thomas Nash – 90.

Mark Fielding Trophy for the Highest Marks in the Piano Classes in the Junior Section for ages 13 & over: Thomas Nash – 87.

Miss NJ Damon Cup for the Highest Mark in the Woodwind Classes in the Junior Section:  Tess Leyland  -87.

Gerald Dodd Memorial Cup for the Highest Marks in the Senior Piano Classes: Alan Worth and Victor Lawrence – 87.

Frank Wheeler Memorial Trophy for the Highest Marks in the Junior Solo Brass Classes: Harry Sheppard – 87.

Mark Radford Awards to the value of £40 to one competitor of 18 years or under in the Instrumental Classes, who shows particular promise: Thomas Nash.

Barbara Walter Award to the value of £40 to a competitor of 18 years or under who gives an Exceptional Vocal Performance in the Disney and Stage Song Classes: Grace Dempsey.

Barbara Walter Rose Bowl to a competitor of 18 years or under who gives the Best Individual Vocal Performance in the Disney and Stage Song Classes: Sophia Houghton.


Sir Robert Hobart Rose Bowl awarded for the Highest Mark gained in the Speech and Drama Sections: Evan Greszczyszyn Rico and Sara Hesse – 89.

The Charles Blake Memorial Cup awarded for the Highest Marks in Classes 465, 466 & 467: Alicia Allen and Jessica Claridge-Law – 86.

The Thomas Hudson Shield for the Highest Aggregate Score in Literary Composition: Monica Courtney and Andrew Pellow – 88.

Joan Timms (nee Pleninger) Salver for the Highest Mark in the Miming Teams: Ryde Speech and Drama Class – 87.

Joy Hall Trophy given at the Adjudicator’s sole discretion in recognition of a memorable and worthy performance in the Drama section: Sara Hesse, Daisy Dyer and Kaitlyn Donovan.


The Hon Mrs Mitcheson Cup (Lady Seely Junior Cup) for the Highest Individual Mark in Junior Piano, Strings, Woodwind & Drama Section: Thomas Nash – 90.

Lady Seely Senior Cup for the Highest Individual Mark in the Senior Strings, Piano, Woodwind and Drama Sections: Ellen Weeks – 88.

Winners of Special Awards in the Music and Speech & Drama sections will receive their certificates by post and we will try to make arrangements, where possible, to get their cups/trophies to them.

Follow our FB page to keep upto date with what is happening



 The Isle of Wight Music Dance and Drama Festival is a competition held every March with professional judges in a friendly atmosphere.  We have classes for everybody for three to ninety three.  There are around 400 classes attracting around 2000 entries. Our 2021 festival will be our 91st.  

This is the only competition of its type on the Island offering everybody who wants to enter the opportunity to perform a wide range of disciplines in a suitable environment in front of a supportive audience and receive feedback on their performance from a professional, internationally recognised, adjudicator. 

IWMDDF Facebook page

If you have any questions please use the contact form on this website or message our Facebook page.

Would you like to be involved in IWMDDF?


We have a number of wonderful Stewards without whom the Festival simply would not run, but we always need more helpers so please consider being a steward.

If you are interested please use the contact form on this website or message our FB page

The Isle of Wight Music, Dance & Drama Festival, a registered charity, aims to advance, promote and encourage and by means of the Competition Festival Movement in particular, the study and practice of the arts of Music, Dancing, Elocution, Literature and Acting. It provides a platform for amateur performance combined with an educational element from professional musicians, dancers and speakers and is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech of which Her Majesty the Queen is Patron.

We extend a cordial invitation to everyone to join us whether as a Performer, Helper or Visitor and you are assured of a very warm welcome and the opportunity to share in some really top quality performances in Music, Speech, Drama and Dance. We celebrated 88 festivals in 2018.

Please look under the Information banner to find our rules, notes on performing at the Festival, Child Protection Policy or how to become a Patron or a Sponsor or a volunteer.

The Isle of Wight Music Dance & Drama Festival Committee is elected at the AGM held in June (in 2020 at The Hare and Hounds on Monday the 8th June). All interested parties  are invited to the AGM.

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising a free donation for the Isle of Wight Music, Dance and Drama Festival?  Please follow the link for more information. Easyfundraising

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