On 14th October we all met in Royal Belfast Golf Club for coffee with the stewards. Michael Alexander and Helen Neale played some duets for us while information was given out about the organizing of the festival and the stewards were able to learn how to carry out the tasks involved.

The Festival was launched on 19th November in the Queen’s Hall – an event attended by Lady Sylvia Hermon, Deputy Mayor and local businessmen from around Holywood, as well as Festival Stewards and members of the committee.

The Festival ran until 27th November with 620 entries. This brought about 3000 extra people to the town during that period.

Many classes through the week brought in full houses and the Gala night was attended by Lady Sylvia Hermon and the Lord Mayor along with many other local people and parents.


Holywood Music Festival 2009 got off to a great start on the morning of Friday 20th November with a coffee event featuring the Alexander String Quartet. The event was attended by Lady Sylvia Hermon, Deputy Mayor Councillor Gordon Dunne and local businessmen from around Holywood, as well as Festival Stewards and members of the committee.


January – Music and Speech and Drama festivals decide to run independently and the Dance Festival closes temporarily. Ulster Bank and Sainsbury’s offer to sponsor the Music Festival for 2004

April – new Festival 2004 syllabus released and distributed.

May – second issue of Holywood Music Festival Newsletter sent to Music Teachers and libraries and music shops, again sponsored by Sainsbury’s.


March – monetary awards included in syllabus for the first time.

April – Launch of the new Music Syllabus in the Holywood Library.

May – Sainsbury’s and First Trust Bank offer to sponsor Holywood Music Festival. Mr Hastings offers accommodation for adjudicator

September – Barry Douglas becomes Patron of the Festival.

September – First issue of Holywood Music Festival Newsletter, sponsored by Sainsbury’s.

November – Holywood Music Festival reopens in the Queen’s Leisure Complex and runs for 6 days with 550 entries (1,000 children ), a record number in years.


January – Music Committee is formed

Richard Pianos offer to provide pianos for festival

Michael Alexander from the Ulster Orchestra and the Holywood Sinfonietta becomes new President of the Holywood Festival.
Cross community emphasis.

Priory Press design a new image for festival literature.

Plans to use Queen’s Hall instead of Parish Church Hall.


September – Local music teachers make plans to reopen the Music Festival.


Fiftieth year of Holywood Music Festival.

Music Section closed and cups were stored in a bank in Holywood.

Speech and Drama and Dance Festivals continue.


Decline of the festival- Very few entries (270)

Music Festival is short of money and support from schools.

Colour Television in every home now competing for people’s time and interest.

Possibilities of closing down or combining with Bangor Festival.

Decision made to continue as Holywood Music Festival.


Major Addy died at 82

Second Phase of the festival

Mr Northover – Chairman

Nana Houston – Vice-Chairman


Major Addy began to conduct the Messiah in the Queen’s Hall, Holywood, every Christmas in memory of his wife who died of cancer in 1962, helped by the Holywood Festival. £2000 raised for Cancer Campaign each year.


Memorial Plaque erected by the Holywood Musical Festival Association in Queen’s Hall in memory of E. Godfrey Brown.


10 day festival with 1500 entries


Godfrey Brown died at 81.

Major Addy – new Chairman of the Festival

Nana Ward – Vice -Chairman


Official opening of the Queen’s Hall.


June: Opening of the “Holywood Musical Festival” by Prime Minister Lord Brookeborough. 4 days with 700 entries Venues: Grainger’s Shed and Church Halls, Grainger’s shed – capacity for 1500 people.


Plans to set up a music festival in Holywood for Music, Speech and Drama

Godfrey Brown OBE Chairma

Major John Addy MC Vice-Chairman

Maureen Barber Secretary


Holywood Urban and District Council

Grainger Brothers engineering Company.


Godfrey Brown becomes first Music Director for the BBC in Belfast.


Godfrey Brown arrives in Northern Ireland. Appointed as the new Conductor and Director of Belfast Philharmonic Society which included the choir and orchestra.