Are you starting out on a career in music? Looking to develop your skills, or wanting expert guidance and a chance to have your work performed? New Faces will give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the best in the business to develop a piece of music for performance at the Happy Festival in May and July.

Happy is a festival inspired by the work of Bury-born Victoria Wood whose songwriting and musical talent was legendary. We want to encourage new musicians to follow in her footsteps.

Happy takes place in Bury over the weekend of Friday 15th to Sunday 17th May with an outdoor proms event on Sunday 12th July.

We have two great mentors, who you’ll work with and learn from.

David Firman

Victoria Wood’s arranger and Musical Director for her theatre show Good Fun, all three of Victoria’s BAFTA award-winning TV series’: Victoria Wood as Seen on TV, dinnerladies, Christmas with all the Trimmings, the TV special celebrating her personal BAFTA award, and the Victoria Wood special on Parkinson (BBC TV).

Joe Nelson

Joe Nelson is one of the team of music leaders at ALFA Education. He delivers whole class music lessons in Primary, Secondary and SEN settings across the north west and also tutors students in songwriting, guitar, ukelele, drums, sax and voice. Following three years composing and arranging songs for Pete Waterman, Joe has set up his new pop band, MODELS, who are already very successful on the Manchester scene. Joe writes all the material that the group performs.

We’re looking for people who are committed to working with either David or Joe between March 16th and May 2020 to make a piece for the Happy Festival, one of which will be a new piece for brass bands.

We’ve only got a very limited amount of spaces on our New Faces programme, so we’ll pick the best applications.

Tell us a bit about yourself, why you’d like to be a part of the New Faces programme, what sort of music you’d like to write and who you might see performing your music…in no more than a side of A4.

Email by March 20th. Good luck!

New Faces Programme


A chance for career starters to work with Victoria’s Musical Director David Firman and Joe Nelson – a local music leader and composer.

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An array of workshops to get your creative juices flowing, including comedy writing, comedy performance, song writing and TV scriptwriting. All delivered by top notch professionals working in the industry

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Bury Youth Theatre and Met Express - a chance for young people and adults with disabilities to get creative and produce new theatre work for Happy!

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Fancy becoming a new face?

Fill in the contact form below to register your interest in the workshop and talent development programme.