Classic success of music festival

Northumberland Music Festival.' ' Opera North
Northumberland Music Festival.' ' Opera North
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HUNDREDS of concert-goers were treated to a series of top performances in the second Northumberland Music Festival.

The event saw 10 concerts staged over as many days at Eshott, Doxford and Guyzance halls last month.

There was a mix of classical, chamber and operatic music, with internationally-acclaimed musicians and up-and-coming stars alike taking to the stage.

The renowned Opera North opened the festival at Eshott to play in Northumberland for the first time, while the Reg Vardy Brass Band presented the Remembrance Sunday concert at Doxford, performing hymns and music in the first half in keeping with the sombre occasion, before returning for a more upbeat second half of hits from the musicals, television themes, Ghostbusters and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

London-based Liquid Architecture’s concert was another highlight and Chetham’s School of Music offered a workshop for budding pianists, followed by an evening concert by Murray McLachlan and three of his pupils.

A traditional Northumbrian evening showcased the county’s home-grown talent, with performances by Andrew and Margaret Watchorn and harpist Janet Bennett. And the Northumbrian Ranters injected some youthful enthusiasm as all members are aged between 10 and 18 years old.

Much Loved Productions were back by popular demand to bring the festival to a close, encouraging fun and frivolity as they performed Gilbert and Sullivan.

Award-winning chefs at the three hotels served up meals to accompany the concerts. Three charities were supported through the festival – HospiceCare North Northumberland, Macmillan Cancer Support and Action Medical Research.

Robert Parker, who owns the three venues and had the idea for the festival, said: “I was absolutely delighted with the response to the second Northumberland Music Festival.

“The performers we secured were some of the elite in their respective fields and they really took the festival to the next level. We were once again supporting three charities close to everyone’s hearts and I look forward to putting the foundations together for the 2013 festival.”

Event organisers are already looking ahead to next year’s season and are drawing up their plans.

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