The search is on for new classical talent

Graeme Danby
Graeme Danby
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The search is on for new musical talent in Northumberland’s own version of the X-Factor.

The Northumberland Music Festival Awards put the focus on classical music with the chance to attend a master class with operatic bass Graeme Danby on offer to the winners.

The competition, held as part of the fourth annual Northumberland Music Festival, has four classes.

The Young Person’s Class is aimed at singers between eight and 15 and is for any choice of song no longer than three minutes.

The Open Instrumental Class is for over eights, performing for three minutes on the instrument of their choice.

The Opera Class is open to over 16s who must choose an operatic aria, no more than six minutes long.

The final class is Open Song, aimed at the over 16s, which excludes opera.

The awards, in association with Tyneside Piano Company, take place on Saturday November 29, at Eshott Hall, with the winners and runners-up from categories three and four being invited to attend the master class with Graeme on Sunday, November 30.

Entry to the competition, which will be judged by National Music Festival adjudicator Gordon Pearce, is free. Entrants must live in the Northumberland or North Tyneside areas.

Robert Parker, the owner of Eshott Hall, Doxford Hall and Guyzance Hall and the brainchild behind the music festival, said: “We are delighted to announce the arrival of the awards this year to complete the Northumberland Music Festival.

“We know there is so much musical talent in the area, and we really want to give people a chance to shine.”

To enter, download an application form from

The awards are one of the new features of this year’s music festival, which has so far raised around £10,000 for local charities and causes including HospiceCare North Northumberland.

It runs on three weekends from Friday, November 14, to Sunday, November 30, in Eshott, Doxford and Guyzance halls.