REVIEW: NORTHUMBERLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL
Hundreds of ticket buyers were treated to one of the best celebrations of music the county has seen at the second Northumberland Music Festival, with ten concerts over as many days featuring a real mix of classical, chamber and operatic music, as well as a visit from the renowned Reg Vardy Brass Band.
HUNDREDS of ticket buyers were treated to one of the best celebrations of music the county has seen at the 2nd Northumberland Music Festival, with 10 concerts over as many days featuring a real mix of classical, chamber and operatic music, as well as a visit from the renowned Reg Vardy Brass Band.
Opening the festival at Eshott Hall was the internationally renowned Opera North playing in Northumberland for the first time. They produced two flawless concerts over two evenings. Each concert was paired with an equally magnificent meal produced by the hotel’s award-winning chefs.
A real highlight was the Remembrance Sunday concert by the Reg Vardy Brass Band, who performed hymns and music in the first half of their concert, synonymous with Remembrance Sunday concerts countrywide. Then the band returned to perform some of the very best hits from musicals, the odd television theme tune, ‘Ghostbusters’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, all of which livened up Doxford Hall’s Edwardian ballroom.
The week continued with a concert from London-based Liquid Architecture and Chetham’s School of Music ran a workshop for budding young pianists followed by an evening concert by Murray McLachlan and three of his star pupils. The traditional Northumbrian evening showcased the county’s home-grown talents with performances from Andrew and Margaret Watchorn and harpist Janet Bennett.
Injecting some youthful enthusiasm into the festival for a second year were the Northumbrian Ranters, formed from extremely talented young musicians 10-18 years old. They performed flawlessly and the concert was a sellout.
The return of Much Loved Productions performing Gilbert and Sullivan concluded the festival. These opera singers performed at both Doxford Hall and Guyzance Hall and brought fun, frivolity and joy to all those who attended.