POPULAR groups representing the arts on the Isle of Wight have been given a financial boost this year from Red Funnel.

Barbershop-style acapella group, Wight Harmony, theatre and film company Deadman, Irish dance teachers Lynnette Bailey and Caitlyn Hoolan, and dance, gymnastics and acrobatics specialists, the Starlight Academy, were selected.

They each live, work, rehearse and train on the Isle of Wight and were shortlisted by the cross-Solent ferry company for their "talent, aptitude, brilliance and dedication to their vocation".


Wight Harmony is a large singing group, who entertain on the Island and compete off it. 
They are regular winners at the Isle of Wight Music, Dance and Drama Festival, as well as various chorus and quartet competitions.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

The group also takes part in an annual acapella convention for the British Association of Barbershop Singers, and look forward to competing in this national competition next month.

Deadman is an award-winning working and precious class-led theatre and film company, presenting work on stages across the south coast and, at international film festivals. 

The company is dedicated to staging contemporary and captivating local narratives from, and for, Britain’s coastal towns. They are currently touring with 'The Freshwater Five'.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Lynnette Bailey (supported by young coach Caitlyn Hoolan) has been teaching Irish dancing for 27 years — coaching budding performers, from beginners, through the grades, to achieve major national titles. 

Each year, the academy takes its most accomplished dancers to high level competitions off the Island, in England and Ireland. 

This year, three students from the academy have been selected to compete at the Irish Dancing World Championships.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Starlight Academy offers Isle of Wight children and adults the opportunity to learn and compete in the disciplines of dance, gymnastics and acrobatics. 

As well as holding shows on the Island, the academy also takes its students to the mainland compete in regional and national competitions and championships. 

Starlight students regularly bring home silverware for the club, as well as earning scholarships for off-Island training programmes and schools — helping them on their performance career path.

Red Funnel also supported eight sports clubs and organisations on the Island.