Due to Covid restrictions the Isle of Wight Music, Dance and Drama Festival 2021 was held in a virtual format, but only for the music and speech and drama sections.

For this, entrants recorded a video of their performance, which they then uploaded to a secure platform so the adjudicator could view them.

Scroll through the gallery of pictures above to see all the performers mentioned in this story...

Chris Hartley, one of the festival's trustees, said: "There has been a festival every year since 1924 — except for the war years — so we were determined to have something this year.

"It has been a difficult year for the IW Music, Dance and Drama Festival, softened only by being honoured last June with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK."

The festival was very keen to at least offer something in this difficult time when so many events had been cancelled.

Sheila Strickland, who in her mid-80s, is the oldest regular entrant and first entered when she was a child. She loves singing and was determined to show that it is not just the young who can do virtual events!

Isle of Wight County Press:

Sheila Strickland.

Unusually for virtual festivals, all entrants received a proper certificate and medals were given, as usual, in the junior classes for first, second and third places.

Chris continued: “Organising the secure computer system has been challenging at times and we are very grateful to our hard-working secretary for all her extra work this year.

"Although we only had less than half the normal 800 to 900 entries we usually get for the music and speech and drama sections, mainly due to groups not taking part, it was worth doing and we appreciate the extra work also put in by the teachers.”

One family who enjoyed success were the Ortegas from Newport. Angelou’s recital of an extract from Roald Dahl’s Matilda in the prose speaking class for eight and nine-year-old girls was a ‘mature and imaginative narrative rendition’ which gained her first place. Twin sister Angelina achieved second place in the same class impressing the adjudicator with her ‘very creative vocal characterisations’.

The twins’ tale of a Magic Cat by Peter Dixon scored them a second medal each, with second and third places in the girls' verse speaking for eight-year-olds.

Not to be outdone, older sister Kate achieved a distinction mark and third place in the 12-year-old girls verse speaking, before gaining her second medal for her performance of Eliza in Pygmalion.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Ortega family with their medals and certificates.

Lottie Paine, 13, from Sandown, had a successful festival and gained four gold, one silver and two bronze medals. Lottie goes to The Island Free School and is tutored by Tressa Lambert and Polly MacGregor.

Among her wins was the 13 years girls solo set piece class with The Water is Wide; and the 11-13 years Disney solo (accompanied) with Colours of the Wind from Pocahontas. She was second in the 11-13 years Disney Solo (backing track) with a performance of Speechless from Aladdin.

Lottie also teamed up with fellow Island Free School pupil Josie Flack, 15, of Newport, for the musical theatre duet 14-16years and pop and rock duet 14-16 years and they were first in both classes.

For the musical theatre duet, they sang Calm, Cool and Collected from the musical Calvin Berger and for the pop and rock duet they performed Carry You Home by Ward Thomas.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Left, Lottie Paine with her medals, and right, Lottie with Josie Flack.

Jazzmin Childerstone, nine, from Ryde, attends Fusion Arts Academy and had a very successful festival this year, placing in 11 different categories in the vocal/singing sections and winning seven gold, three silver and one bronze medal. She also gained distinction (87 marks) in two of these categories.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Jazzmin with all her certificates and medals.

Annabelle Smith, from Ryde, also did really well and gained four first places and a second place in singing classes for 10-11 years; as well as a first, second and third place in piano classes grade 4 and up to grade 5.

Annabelle is taught by Linda Filby-Borrett, Kathy Grimshaw and Richard Hutchins.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Annabelle Smith with her singing certificates and medals (left) and her piano awards (right).

Charlotte and Sarah Harris, from Carisbrooke, gained great marks in a number of vocal classes and are taught by Linda Filby-Borrett.

Charlotte did the vocal solo soprano/mezzo-soprano/contralto class, Sarah did the vocal-solo composer - Andrew Lloyd Webber section and they teamed up to enter the musical theatre duet, folk duet and operatic vocal duet classes. They scored four first places and one second place between them.

India Sulley, 12, from East Cowes, entered the 12 years girls' vocal solo and age 11 - 13 TV/film vocal solo classes and won both of them.

Her set piece was We'll Meet Again, and for her TV/film class, she sang Cups (When I’m Gone from Pitch Perfect). Her tutor is Tressa Lambert.

Grace Dempsey 11, entered this year's festival in the hope of a normal-style festival but it wasn’t to be. Undeterred, Grace submitted three vocal entries, as well as a vocal duet - and won every class. Grace loves taking part in the festival each year and embraced this year's virtual event. She is taught by Linda Filby-Borrett.

Tom Anthony Smallwood, nine, from Binstead, took part in classes for jazz piano grades 1-3, brass playing with less than two years experience and boys' singing nine years - and gained two firsts and a second place.

For the instruments, Tom is taught by Zara Groves, of Ryde, and Graham Brown at Portsmouth Grammar School, but he started last year with the legendary Maurice Keat, who is now in his 80s.

Tom hasn't has any singing lessons, except for 20 minutes of top tips from his auntie, Hannah Brear, musical director of Medina Community Choir.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Avyukth Sesetti, who won two singing classes.

Ten-year-old Avyukth Sesetti, from Newport, took part in the ten years and under novice song and 10 years boys' solo singing classes - and won both.

He performed The Osprey for the novice song class and Pirate Song for the boys' solo and he is taught by Linda Filby-Borrett.

Another ten-year-old - Freya Edwards from Newchurch - took on the aged 10 song from a show class and won with a distinction mark of 87.

She performed Home, from the musical Alice in Wonderland, and she is taught by Polly MacGregor.

Nikki Drew, from Cowes, won the woodwind clarinet grade 4-5 class with her rendition of Sonata No.1 by Jean Xavier Lefevre. Nikki is taught by Mrs Kelly.

Finally, Sam Sutherland Nash Smith, from Ventnor, took on the guitar grade 2-3 under-18s class and won with his performance of Marshmallow Cocoa by Martin Fogel, which is a classical guitar grade 3 piece. Sam is taught by John Nash.

We will have more reports from the Isle of Wight Music, Dance and Drama Festival next week.