The Valley Music Festival Awards


The Valley Music Festival aims to bring together musicians and performers from the North of Sheffield, provide entertainment for the local community and to raise funds to support young local musicians.

The Valley Music Family – Making a Difference.

We have 3 schemes to encourage young musician:

• Direct Donations to Schools & Community Groups
• The Valley Music Festival Sponsorship Awards Scheme
• The ‘Raymond English’ Best Young Performers Award

making a difference

The Valley Music Festival is making a difference. Young people who have reaped the rewards of the festival’s first two successful years gathered earlier this month at Ponti’s restaurant in Fox Valley to celebrate their progress.

The celebration was hosted by Hilary Osborn MD of the Festival and was also attended by Amanda Holmes & Emily Hughes from Dransfield Properties and Anne Danks from Deepcar St Johns.

Even though the coronavirus has put paid to this summer’s third big annual festival, organisers hope to stage some smaller events under the Valley Festival banner once life returns to normal with a pledge that the 2021 festival will be bigger and better than ever to raise more funds to help young people foster their musical talent and to support local schools. Such has been the success of the first two festivals, we can commit to helping at least two young people with scholarships in 2020/21.

More than 350 performers took part in last year’s festival which attracted approaching 1,000 people to the Fox Valley shopping centre and Stocksbridge High School over two days.

The festival’s success meant that four promising young people received Valley Festival Sponsorship awards to further their musical development. Money raised at the festival was boosted by a donation from the Dransfield Foundation – the charitable offshoot of Dransfield Properties, owner of Fox Valley. Grants totalling £2,200 were made including those given directly to five local schools.

The four young people who received grants were:
Gao Roberts, aged 10, a pianist attending Oughtibridge Primary School;
Flynn Rogers, aged 10, a trumpeter of Stocksbridge Juniors;
Grace Hanson, aged 13, and Frances Holmes, aged 15 both singers from Stocksbridge High School.

Festival director Hilary Osborn told the Ponti’s gathering that the progress and growing confidence of the youngsters who had received tuition grants at a time when schools struggled to find music funding, showed what the festival was all about. “We showcase the talent across the community, involving people of all ages, and promising young musicians benefit from the money raised”, she said.

Gao Roberts’ dad, Martin, from Oughtibridge, said his son was making “rapid, amazing progress” with his piano lessons. Gao had started playing the guitar but was now devoted to the piano, enjoying classical pieces. “I started learning the piano with Gao but gave up – I retained 5% of what was taught while Gao retained 95%. It is great that the festival encourages youngsters to develop their musical talent in this way.”

Frances Holmes said her lessons had been a huge confidence booster and she now had the ambition to become a musical theatre teacher. Her mum, Lesley, of Stocksbridge said: “I’ve seen such an amazing change in Frances. She is a different person.”

Sally Rogers, of Bolsterstone, said her grandson Flynn, who had been inspired to take up the trumpet by Sheffield Wednesdays’ Kop Band and the Disney Band, had passed his grade one exam with distinction. “It is so good that Flynn has been having one-to-one lessons.” Grace Hanson’s mum, Hayley, of Deepcar, said her daughter had never had music lessons at school before receiving the grant. “I’ve made a lot of progress”, said Grace.

Bradfield School was among the five local schools receiving grants. They bought a set of 40 ukuleles. And Deepcar St John C of E Junior School used their grant to visit the Royal Opera House in London recently to see the modern opera Alice’s Adventures in the Underground. They were so inspired that they made a video featuring their artwork and singing which was shown at the Ponti’s get-together. Happy Hands, High Green Primary and Stocksbridge Juniors were the other schools who received grants.

Cailean Simpson, aged 10, of the No Identity singing group, showed the gathering the Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir Raymond English Trophy which the group had won at last year’s festival for being the most promising young performers.