- Performance Locations
Ripon Cathedral, built in 670AD, is situated just 10 miles north of Harrogate. The opportunity to perform at this beautiful venue is often remarked as a highlight of the Festival for many visiting ensembles. The Cathedral plays host to the massed choir and orchestra performance. This beautiful and moving event is a great performance opportunity for students from across the world to perform together in stunning surroundings of great historical significance and the natural acoustics of this grand religious building make the perfect setting.
The Harrogate International Youth Festival was an unforgettable experience for us Crazy Hoppers from Switzerland. The performances in the different locations were very exciting and interesting. Among others we could hold concerts in the Royal Hall, in the Newby Hall Garden and in the St. James’ Church. Once we took the liberty of giving a small square concert in York. Especially the two concerts in the Royal Hall were the highlights of our stay. Very special for us was the light show, which gave us a completely new feeling of our performance. The staff members fulfilled all our wishes and made us feel comfortable on stage. We were rewarded on Sunday when the audience demanded an encore from us Crazies only. This was a very great honour, which we had not expected.
We were accommodated in a local boarding school in comfortable triple rooms with private bath and shower. We quickly felt comfortable and enjoyed our stay very much. The encounters with participants from all over the world were exciting for us, for example at the rehearsal and the concert with the Massed Band. Even with occasional language obstacles we had a lot of fun. Harrogate is a beautiful city and we enjoyed every free time in which we could explore the city.
The preparation before and during the HIYF has strengthened our team spirit enormously. It broadened our horizon and we could gain many new experiences. We will remember this event positively for a long time.
I have attended the HIYF three times: once as a student, and twice as a Director. ECE and the organizers behind the Harrogate International Youth and Music Festival do an exceptional job. To be sure, there are countless festivals all over the world that bands and orchestras can choose from, but ECE does seem special. Emails are answered very quickly, and every detail of the trip is handled with more care and thought than I could even give myself. Their experience and expertise is evident in their organization of every detail of the tour, their connection with the local communities, and their anticipation of the needs of the ensembles. They do a nice job with mixers and social activities to get the students bonding. The dorms that house the students are top-notch, and provide a great place for students to relax, rehearse, and recharge after busy days of performing and touring. On many occasions, after concerts, the members of the audience would stay and chat with my students for quite a while, curious about them and their passion for music. The HIYF has great organizations, great audiences, a great location, and a rich history that make it stand out.
We spent a very eventful weekend in Harrogate. The beautiful venues were very impressive and our pupils were very enthusiastic. It was great that we were able to get to know so many groups from around the world. Many thanks to the organizing team for the good cooperation and the great support.
We got the chance to participate in several concerts in marvellous venues in the Yorkshire region. We met groups and orchestras from various countries all over the globe. In times of increasing political and religious intolerance in some parts of the world this festival contributes an essential part to international cultural exchange and understanding