With the Festival of Performing Arts set to commence this week, the Jersey Eisteddfod has announced it will continue to receive sponsorship from Deutsche Bank for a further three years.

Deutsche Bank has committed to sponsor the Jersey Eisteddfod, including the Spring Festival of Creative Arts and the Autumn Festival of Performing Arts, until the end of 2013.

The news comes as a significant boost for Jersey’s leading artistic and cultural event, as entrants prepare for the start of the Deutsche Bank Festival of Performing Arts on Wednesday 3rd November. Yet again, the Autumn Festival encompasses a range of disciplines, including Music, English Speech and Drama, Dance, Modern Languages and Jèrriais. With the traditional Service of Dedication taking place on Sunday 7th November at 7pm at the St Helier Methodist Centre, the programme is as follows:

Music Section: 3rd – 13th November The Music section promises to deliver an exciting eleven days of competition yet again with entries high across all the piano, vocal, string, brass, woodwind, choir, percussion and instrumental group classes.

Of particular note is the introduction of classes for signing choirs, which is a 'first' for the whole of the British and International Federation of Festivals. With choirs visiting Jersey from the UK to take part, the competition on the evening of Saturday 6th November will be a landmark for the Festival. The classes for the school choirs remain as popular as ever too, with eight different school choirs being involved on the morning of Friday 5th November. In addition, having been so popular when it was introduced in last year’s Festival, the Drumming classes are back, with the daytime sessions on Monday 8th November being set aside for the 70 young drummers taking part.

Dance: 15th – 20th November With entries in Dance classes having increased by more than 100 since two years ago, the Festival will this year welcome entrants from Guernsey dance schools. A number of new classes have also been added to the syllabus including, for the first time ever, schools group hip-hop classes and a clubs and associations class. Tickets are also available and selling fast for the Gala Evening on 20th November.

English Speech & Drama: 22nd – 27th November The English Speech and Drama Section opens on 22nd November and will again include classes for original verse for both young people and adults who will perform their own verse covering a broad range of subjects, with marks being awarded for both the content and delivery. The Section will also feature dramatic and poetic performances from the majority of the Island’s primary and secondary schools, whilst the whole evening on Thursday 25th November will be dedicated to one act plays.

Modern Languages and Jèrriais: 19th November – 1st December In what has become an incredibly popular Section of the Festival with the local community, entries for Modern Languages and Jèrriais are up 60% this year. The Jèrriais classes start on 19th November at St Ouen’s Parish Hall, with Portuguese, a new addition to the syllabus last year, taking place at St Helier Town Hall on 27th November. Following the Modern Languages classes, which include German, Italian and Spanish, at the Jersey Arts Centre on 29th November, the French classes take place on 30th November and 1st December.

Pat Sabey, Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Festival of Performing Arts committee, said:

"The Festival always tries to evolve with the times and with that in mind I am delighted that we have been able to add a number of classes to the programme this year, not least in the Music Section for signing choirs and the Dance Section for schools group hip-hop. The number of entries is very healthy and we are looking forward to witnessing some local and visiting talent to the Festival over the coming weeks.”

Andreas Tautscher, Chief Country Officer for Deutsche Bank Channel Islands, added:

“This is a true community event reaching nearly every school, thousands of households and most corners of our Island and I am delighted to announce that Deutsche Bank has agreed to extend its sponsorship of this important part of Jersey's cultural life through to the end of 2013. There is a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, energy and enthusiasm that goes in to bringing the Festival to fruition, and these are values that we also believe in passionately.”

Alan Le Breton, Chairman of the Jersey Arts Trust, commented:

"In supporting this year's Festival, the Trust recognises the enormous contribution made to the event both by participants and supporters across the community. As funding for the arts becomes increasingly competitive, the Trust is pleased to give its backing to those committed to enterprise and innovation in securing a lasting future for artistic expression in the Island."

Further details of the programme for the Deutsche Bank Festival of Performing Arts can be found at www.jerseyeisteddfod.org.je and in the official programme available at various commercial outlets.