Second helpings at three-course feast

2nd Northumberland Music Festival'Last year's gala concert.
2nd Northumberland Music Festival'Last year's gala concert.

THE second Northumberland Music Festival will return this autumn to three of Northumberland’s finest country houses – Guyzance Hall, Doxford Hall and Eshott Hall.

This follows the success of the first festival held in 2011, which attracted music lovers from across the region, and once again the Northumberland Gazette is the event’s media partner.

2nd Northumberland Music Festival' Much Loved Productions performing Gilbert and Sullivan.''Left - Graham Stone   Right - Jeremy Suit

2nd Northumberland Music Festival' Much Loved Productions performing Gilbert and Sullivan.''Left - Graham Stone Right - Jeremy Suit

Featuring opera, traditional and classical music and the ever-popular Gilbert and Sullivan, this year’s festival will take place between November 9 and November 18.

Performing for the first time will be the Reg Vardy Band – one of the world’s top-twenty brass ensembles.

Once again a Gala Opera Concert will begin the festival with performances on Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10 at Eshott Hall.

The grand finale will be a Gilbert and Sullivan concert on Sunday, November 18 at Doxford Hall.

This year’s Northumberland Music Festival will follow the established pattern of 2011, which brought concerts to all three halls, often matching the music to the venue and the menu, and bringing the programme to within reach of different local audiences.

It will see a return of some of last year’s favourites, together with new festival appearances from one of the UK’s leading opera houses. They will play on Remembrance Sunday and will include music and hymns for the occasion, as part of their programme.

Returning to the Second Festival will be Murray McLachlan, international concert pianist and musical director at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. Murray and his students of Chetham’s gave a spellbinding recital last November.

Much Loved Productions, who more than definitely lived up to their name last time, are back with their uniquely entertaining performances of Gilbert and Sullivan favourites.

No Northumbrian Music Festival would be complete without featuring some of the traditional music for which the county is renowned and representing this will be the ever-excellent Northumbrian Pipes and Fiddle and Janet Bennett, clarsoch harp and singer, and the talented young musicians of The Northumberland Ranters.

Robert Parker and his wife Gina, who own the three Halls, were overcome by the response to the first festival.

“We were pleased by the reaction to the first festival, and we are confident that this year’s will benefit from the ideas and suggestions that came after it,” he said.

“With some of last year’s highlights, and several new concerts, it will be a fantastic programme. People came from all over the UK last year, to be a part of the festival and we very much hope that they will return this year.”

Event organiser, Barbara Huddart, of Glendale PR and Marketing, said: “We are very excited about this year’s programme and have secured some exceptional musicians for the concerts.

“As before, menus have been devised by the Head Chefs at each of the Halls, so that both music and food can combine in harmony.

“Last year, thanks to the tremendous support from local individuals, businesses, patrons and concert goers, the Northumberland Music Festival raised over £2,250 for charitable causes.

“Once again we are donating a percentage of all ticket sales to local charities so our aim is to provide enjoyment for an even wider audience, and to find partners in the local community, both in business and the charitable sector.”

More information can be found on or phone 01668 283100 or email