Southampton Festival of Music and Drama was at a high and growing from strength to strength each year.

There were 850 entries for the first festival in 1926. By 2004, when these pictures were snapped, there were almost 1,300.

For one month, amateur performers of all ages seized the chance to be assessed by professional adjudicators in weekend classes that took place at venues all over the city – and, according to organisers, interest and talent was on the rise every year.

Daily Echo: Avril Freemantle. Southampton Festival of Music and Drama in 2004.

A total of 95 cups were handed out during the festival, which was backed by the Daily Echo.

The programme for the gala night at Turner Sims Concert Hall was as eclectic as ever, featuring everything from a comic monologue and a Shakespeare performance to an opera aria and a showstopping turn by a school jazz group.

Daily Echo: Some of the accodian entries in the Southampton Festival of Music and Drama in 2004.

This year's festival is taking place now and more information can be found at .