Fest Artists 2017

Melanie Reinhard (Piano)

Melanie is a Canadian pianist, who has many prizes and awards to her credit. Having performed extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, she has been recognised as a versatile and artistic musician who is sought after by noted instrumentalists and singers. Melanie received her ARCT (Performance) and LPRCM (Concert Diploma) from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, studying with James Anagnoson and Leon Fleisher. In master classes, she has worked with John Perry, Richard Goode, Marek Jablonski and Monika Leonhard. Having lived and worked in Germany and Switzerland for a decade, performing in many places including Frankfurt, Munich, Konstanz, Zürich and the Gewandhaus Leipzig, which was broadcast on Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Melanie moved to the UK in 2004 and is active here as a teacher and performer. As the pianist of the OPUS 3 piano trio, she has performed in venues such as St. James’ Piccadilly, Charterhouse, St. George in the East and for the Beethoven Society of Europe to critical acclaim. Melanie was appointed Head of Keyboard at Loughborough Endowed Schools in 2011 and enjoys her role there as teacher and principal accompanist. “delicately and subtly Melanie Reinhard accompanied on the piano, so salient were the creative impulses she chose when she took over the lead melody onto the piano” (Badische Zeitung)

Christopher White (Violin)

London born Christopher White studied at the Royal College of Music, London, where he won many prizes and left with one of the most coveted awards, the Dove Prize. Further scholarships enabled him to continue his studies at the Banff Centre in Canada and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. He has studied with many distinguished violinists both in North America and England, including Josef Gingold, Jaime Laredo, Thomas Brandis, Rodney Friend, Lorand Fenyves and Erich Gruenberg. Christopher has been concertmaster with a number of orchestras both in England and Europe, alongside a varied performing career as soloist and chamber musician. His solo CD was released in 1999, featuring solo violin works by Bach, Bartok and Ysaye. A second CD with pianist, Melanie Reinhard, featured the Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano. Further recordings were made with Die Taschenphilharmonie where Christopher was the first violin in Mahler Symphony No. 4 and “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” (chamber version) and Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, recently distributed widely in Germany by Die Zeit.
Since returning to the UK in 2003, Christopher has held posts as Resident Violinist at Rugby School and Head of Strings at Uppingham School. He now enjoys a varied career of teaching and performing, as well as being a well-respected piano technician. Since its formation in 1998, his piano trio OPUS 3, has received critical acclaim in Germany, Switzerland and the UK. OPUS 3 has performed in venues such as the Tonhalle Zurich, St. James’ Piccadilly, St. Martin in the Fields and Charterhouse. Christopher White plays on a Joseph Filius Andrea Guarneri violin, dated 1707.
“White’s tone was superbly rich on the lower strings in Chausson’s glorious Poeme” (The Strad) “Szymanowsky’s La Fontaine D’Arethuse emerging as a ravishing impressionistic tableau full of imaginative textural shading” (Musical Opinion)

Johannes Gürth (Viola)

Johannes has been a member of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich since 1990. He studied in Vienna and Salzburg with T. Riebl, Bern and the Banff Centre in Canada. During his studies, he played at the Vienna State Opera, Camerata Salzburg as principal viola with Sandor Vegh, and as soloist with chamber orchestras like Sinfonietta Salzburg. Johannes has performed in a variety of chamber music groups, alone at Zürich Tonhalle in 30 different programmes. In 2011-13 he was guest performer in festivals in Denmark in Langvad-Northjutland and contemporary music in Copenhagen with 'Scenatet'. He is currently a member of the ensembles Broadway string quartet, Dark Chocolate viola quartet, and Wiener Salon Ensemble.
Johannes has been broadcast on ORF Austria, CBC Canada and SRF Switzerland.

Vanessa White (Violin)

Vanessa’s violin playing began at the age of seven. At the age of thirteen, she decided that she would like to follow in her parents’ footsteps and become a musician, and with distinctions in Grade Eight on both violin and clarinet at the age of 15, the choice was not easy. Vanessa was awarded a music scholarship to Oakham School in 2010 and has considered her time there as the basis to her musical knowledge and experience. In 2012, she played the violin in the National Youth Music Theatre’s production of ‘The Dreaming’ in Kingston, London. In 2013, she performed Dvorak’s Romance with the Rutland Sinfonia and in April 2015, she performed Saint-Saens Rondo Capriccioso with the LES Symphony Orchestra. She has been a member for two years of the National Youth String Orchestra with whom she has performed in venues such as the Sage, Gateshead and Kings Place, London. She has won various competitions as a violinist including festivals in Leamington Spa and the Rotary Competition. As a clarinettist, Vanessa has won titles including Leicester’s Young Performer of the Year in 2011 and she also reached the regional final of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year in 2010. Having completed her A Levels at Loughborough High School in 2015, she is now a student at the Royal Northern College of Music, studying with Czech violinist, Pavel Fischer. In her first year she has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses given by violinists such as Levon Chilingirian and Yair Kless. She has performed as part of the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, RNCM Opera Orchestra and is particularly interested in playing chamber music. Vanessa plays with the Alegría Piano Trio as well as the Corda Duo with guitarist Michael Tucker. She is heavily involved in the annual summer music festival 'Great Bowden Music Fest' where she is able to perform chamber music with  fellow musicians as well as being given the opporunity to perform concertos with the Great Bowden Camerata. She is looking forward to performing Schubert's Rondo in A major in the summer of 2017. In her spare time, Vanessa is a very keen singer and enjoys singing choral music on a weekly basis with St Anns Choir in Manchester.

Petra Milarova (Piano)

Born in the Czech Republic, prize-winning pianist Petra Milarová moved to the UK shortly after completing her Master’s studies in Prague under Professor Ivan Klánský. In demand as both a soloist and collaborative musician, she successfully combines her playing career with tutoring at Birmingham Junior Conservatoire, Repton School and LES Music School. Petra is a founder member of the Mercia Ensemble, touring Norway in August 2016. Her interest in performance health has led her to attend a Dru Yoga teacher training course. She is also currently training to become one of the few Licensed Andover Educators in Body Mapping techniques in the UK.

A prize-winner of international piano competitions (Concourse Musicale de France 2012, Cittá di Barletta - Young Pianist Prize and Chamber Music Prize 2011 in Italy, Smetana International Piano Competition 2010, Beethoven and Chopin Piano Competitions in the Czech Republic), Petra has appeared in concerts both as a soloist and a chamber musician throughout many varied venues in the Czech Republic, UK, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Turkey and the USA; in concertos with Czech Pilsen, Janáček, Olomouc, Gustav Mahler and Turkish Haccettepe Symphonic Orchestras, English Wyre Forest and Wolverhampton Symphony Orchestras; concerts with the National Theatre in Prague, British Isles Music Festival, California Summer Music, and featured in the Ambassador’s Concert Series in Prague as well as at the Wigmore Hall in London and most recently in the Codsall Arts Festival. Petra has also recorded a CD for the InnoVatio company in Germany.

After having graduated from the Janáček Conservatoire in Ostrava (studying with Monika Tugendliebová), Petra attended Musikhochschule Luzern where she obtained Konzertdiplom with honours and the Edwin Fisher Prize. Whilst teaching piano at the Prague Conervatoire, she continued her studies at the Academy of Performing Arts as a student of Professor Ivan Klánský and in 2011 graduted with a Master’s degree.  During her studies she attended masterclasses with Garrick Ohlsson, Arakdi Zenzipér, Jenő Jandó, Andrew Ball, Hans Boepple, Avedis Koyoumdjian, Marina Primachenko, Pierre Jasmin and Elena Galynina. After having moved to the UK, Petra studied with Margaret Fingerhut at the Birmingham Conservatoire where she obtained first prize in the Peter Donohoe competition, Renna Kellaway Piano Recital Prize and John Ireland Prize.

Matthew Forbes (Cello)
Born in Scotland and having grown up in London, Matthew Forbes has established himself as a versatile and highly sought-after freelance musician, having graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with first class honours in 2000.

As an orchestral player he has played for many of Britain's most prestigious ensembles including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal and London Philharmonic Orchestras, the orchestras of the Royal, English National and Scottish Opera Houses, the BBC Symphony and Concert orchestras and the English and Scottish Chamber Orchestras among many others. As a soloist he performed John Tavener's The Protecting Veil at the 2008 Greenbelt Festival and has also performed concertos by Schumann, Elgar and Boccherini. He has appeared on many albums, including with award-winning songwriters Nikki Murray, Holly Dearden and Megan Henwood. As a chamber musician he has enjoyed success in several guises; most notably a residency at Middlesex University with the Trelawn Quartet and as one half of the Czardas Duo with accordionist Ian Watson, generating many new works for the combination.

His work as an arranger and composer has seen him write for many commercial, performing and educational projects, writing for albums, ensembles and summer schools. Currently he is writing the music for the new children's opera "The Garden of the Gods" for the Birmingham Hippodrome and other recent commissions include from the Orchestra of the Swan, the Bromley Youth Music Trust, stringquartet.co.uk and the exciting new London chamber ensemble Fifth Quadrant for their 2012 season.

He has taught the cello, double bass, theory, chamber music, orchestral skills and folk music at institutions including Uppingham School, Winchester College, St. Johns Beaumont school, the Blackheath Conservatoire in London and the New Forest and Oxford Cello Schools. He has this year also been appointed teacher of non-classical guitar, ukulele and harmonica at the University of Warwick.

David Beavan (Music Director of the Harborough Singers)

David has been the Musical Director of the HARBOROUGH SINGERS since 1985, performing a wide range of music. He was a choral scholar at Jesus College, Cambridge and later at Trinity College of Music, London. Performing and recording with the Swingle Singers throughout Europe, the USA, Australia and the Far East developed his interest in many different styles and periods of music.
As a soloist, he has performed throughout the UK and Europe. Operatic performances have included the Wexford Festival and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He has performed and recorded with the Deller Consort, the Consort of Music, Pro Cantione Antiqua and the Hilliard Ensemble. As a conductor, David directed the choral society of Westfield College, London, later becoming the conductor of the Harborough Singers in Leicestershire and the Blackfriars Singers in London. In 1990 he formed a group of young professional singers, Serenata Voices, which performs, broadcasts and records music that reflects his wide range of musical experience. For a number of years, he assisted Trevor Pinnock as the manager of the Choir of the English Concert and continued to do so with Andrew Manze.

Harborough Singers

The Harborough Singers was first formed in 1978 in order to represent England in an International choral competition in Debrecen, Hungary. Since that time the choir has been promoting choral music, developing singing skills and introducing audiences to new music as well as entertaining and raising money for a wide range of charities. In recent years the Choir has travelled widely to give concerts to raise money for charities such as the NSPCC, Homestart, The Royal British Legion and the RNLI. The Harborough Singers is itself a charity, and exists through subscriptions, donations and fundraising concerts and recordings.

The Choir has been highly successful in achieving its vision to perform music to a consistently high standard and provide a choral musical education for performers and audiences. The Choir’s concerts have attracted some of the most prestigious performers on the world stage including Dame Felicity Lott, Susan Bullock, Martyn Hill and Michael Chance. The Choir has also worked with some of the UK’s leading actors ranging from Prunella Scales to Andrew Sachs and from Janet Suzman to David Kossof, made recordings with Martin Jarvis and Timothy West and through the renowned annual Christmas concert Market Harborough audiences have also enjoyed performances from acclaimed actors including Patricia Routledge and Simon Russell Beale.

The Harborough Singers regularly commission and premiere new choral works. Over the years the Choir has given first performances of works by Edward Gregson, Trevor Hold, David Jepson, Kendal Kirkland and Charles Paterson among others.

"The Harborough Singers are characterised by the commitment of our members. We represent all walks of life and come from a wide range of backgrounds, roles and professions - not to mention vary large radius of Market Harborough..! We are passionate about sharing both music (and cake) for everyone to enjoy, whatever their age or background. We work hard and play hard, in pursuit of musical excellence.."

Hannah Padmore (Violin and Viola)

Hannah Padmore began playing the violin at the age of four, gaining a place at St. Mary's Music School in 2001 where she also studied piano and voice. She graduated from St. Anne's College, Oxford in 2011 where she read Music, also holding a choral scholarship at St. Peter's College. During her time at Oxford she was leader of the Oxford University Philharmonia, and a prominent member of most other university ensembles (on both violin and viola) including OxBaroque. Between 2010-2012 she was co-principal and principal of the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra.

In 2014 Hannah completed her Mmus with distinction from the RNCM, studying formerly with Maciej Rakowsky and latterly with Cath Yates. She has a passion for Baroque music and was able to explore much chamber and solo repertoire on period instruments (violin and viola) during her time there. In 2014 and 2015 summers she was lucky enough to play in the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and the Konzerthaus (Berlin) as a first violin and principal second violin of the NJO Muziekzomer symphony and chamber orchestra. In the summer of 2015 Hannah was also concertmaster of the newly formed Kellie Consort. Since graduating she has established herself as a freelance player with the BBC Philharmonic, the Manchester Camerata, and the RLPO. She is concertmaster of the recently formed St. Ann's Ensemble in Manchester and teaches at the Sheffield Music Academy. In 2017 she looks forward to stepping in with the Florian Quartet as part of a St. Matthew Passion project, a tour to Spain with the BBC Phil in May, various performances with the St. Ann's Ensemble, and of course viola-ing with joy in the 'Fest! 

Elizabeth Elliott (Cello)

Lizzie started the cello at the age of 7 with Nick Byrne and went on the study with Tim Smedley at the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School. She is currently studying with Gillian Thoday at the RNCM. Lizzie has performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Easter Orchestral Society and regularly performs as a soloist with the Port Sunlight Orchestra. She was principal cello of the National Youth String Orchestra and has led the cellos in the Concert Orchestra at the RNCM. Lizzie has had masterclasses with esteemed cellists such as Hannah Roberts, Miklos Perenyi, Karine Georgian, Rebecca Gilliver and Giovanni Sollima, and has attended summer schools with both Hannah and Gillian Thoday. Lizzie loves chamber music and currently plays in the Alegria Piano Trio at the RNCM.

Imy Luc (Piano)

Imy Luc was born in Chichester, West Sussex, where she began learning the piano aged 6 with Nina Levtov. She has since studied at the Junior department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Chetham's School of Music and in Italy.  Currently she is studying with Dina Parakhina at the Royal Northern College of Music and is in her 2nd year of the undergraduate course. 

As well as being a soloist, Imy enjoys chamber music and is in demand as an accompanist. She is part of the Alegria Piano Trio which was formed at the RNCM in 2015.

Cleo Annandale (Violin)

Cleo is currently in her second year at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she studies the violin with Yossi Zivoni. She began playing the violin at the age of 7 in her home town of Northampton where she received lessons through the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust. During her time at NMPAT, she led the County Youth Orchestra, County String Sinfonia and the John Clare String Quartet. 

Cleo was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years, where she worked with many internationally renowned musicians and conductors, including; John Wilson, Ed Gardner and Sir Mark Elder. As an NYO musician Cleo was invited to; record and film 'Ten Pieces II' with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, work with the 'Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste' during their visit to the UK, and had the opportunity to perform in two televised BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. 
Since beginning her studies at the RNCM she has performed in many of the college's ensembles including; RNCM String Orchestra, RNCM Symphony Orchestra and the RNCM Session Orchestra. She also plays first violin in the Cuerda String Quartet, an ensemble formed in September 2015 at the RNCM. Her violin is on loan from the Huntingford family.

Joseph Lenehan (Viola)

German-born Violist, Joseph Lenehan was raised in the North West of the UK. It was in the small mining town of Wigan that he embarked on his musical education. Joseph's love for orchestral playing as well as chamber music flourished during his time spent in Wigan. Currently Joseph studies at the Royal Northern College of Music under Vicci Wardman, one of the UK's current leading violists of her generation. At the College, Joe enjoys a rich mix of orchestral playing as well as chamber music and solo work. One major highlight of his season is the opportunity to take part in the thriving music scene in Great Bowden as part of the annual Music Fest.


Musical Theatre Artists


GBRT Adult Vocal Choir

Great Bowden Recital Trust (GBRT) Adult Vocal Choir is an inclusive and friendly community choir with over 75 members from South Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.  Singing songs from West End musicals and other light easy-listening music under the expert guidance of Musical Director Tracey Holderness, the Choir performs regularly in the local area and further afield, and has taken part in four European concert tours, most recently to Italy in April 2017. The Adult Vocal Choir is one of eight choirs and ensembles run by GBRT, a local music charity which promotes music development, appreciation and participation for all. For more information please see www.gbrecitaltrust.co.uk.

Louise Oakley (Voice)

Louise’s love of singing probably began with her first experience of musicals at the age of 5 months when she appeared on stage with The Market Harborough Operatic society. Since then she has performed in Fiddler on the Roof with the same group as a child, in Les Miserables at Bishop Stopford School, in two separate Great Bowden Entertains evenings and has taken lead roles in village pantomimes. She has also sung, by request, at a GBRT concert in Great Bowden Church.

Louise is currently having singing lessons in Manchester where she now lives and works.

Having missed taking part in last year’s concert due to illness, Louise is very much looking forward to performing for you this year.  

Beth Hodgson (Voice)

Growing up in Northamptonshire, Beth was surrounded by music at an early age and starting vocal studies at aged 8. Beth went on to study at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and gained a Degree in Musical Theatre performance. Following a year studying with Wendy Parr, Beth completed her GTP back in Northamptonshire and started teaching voice with NMPAT.

As of 2014, Beth took responsibility for the Vocal Department as Head of Vocal Studies and has forged a successful career as a musical theatre/Art Song specialist and choral conductor.


Beth started directing the County Youth Choir in 2014 who were already known for their choral successes both in Northamptonshire and the major concert halls in the UK.

Under Beth’s direction the choir performed Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb in St. Matthew’s Church where it was first commissioned over 70 years ago.


Away from the Music Trust Beth enjoys performing both in musical theatre and in oratorio. Recently Beth took to the stage as Deloris (Sister Act) and sang Mary Magdalene (According to Mary) in London’s Covent Garden.

Other than surrounded by music, you will occasionally see Beth enjoying cooking days and walking across Scotland!

Jonathan Reynolds (Voice)

Jonathan has appeared in many musical theatre shows over the years both in local community theatre and professionally. He states his favourite roles as being Emile Debecque in South Pacific, the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Billy Bigelow in Carousel and particularly John Tallentire playing opposite Tracey Holderness’ Emily in The Hired Man. Jonathan created the role of Winston Churchill in Churchill The Musical which premiered at The Lagoa Auditorium in The Algarve and was also performed at The Lyric Theatre in the heart of London’s West End.

He has performed in concerts and cabarets across the UK as well as in France, Holland, Portugal, Madeira and Southern Ireland.  Jonathan is delighted to be performing with the Music Fest band.

Tracey Holderness (Voice)

Tracey Holderness is a singing teacher and choir leader from Market Harborough. After graduating from Sheffield University with a Bmus, she went on to gain a Post-graduate Diploma in Musical Theatre from Arts Educational in London. She worked for 7 years in professional theatre. During this time she performed as a soloist with light operatic companies and performed in a wide variety of musical theatre productions in both the UK and Europe. She has also accumulated a wide range of experience working with amateur musical groups and companies. She is currently employed as the musical director of the Great Bowden Recital Trust adult choir and is the leader of several school choirs. She also leads workshops in choral technique for adult choirs. Tracey teaches singing both privately and as a peripatetic teacher visiting several schools in the area. 

Jonathan Painting (Voice)

Jonny makes a welcome return this year. He is an active member of a number of musical theatre groups in the Loughborough area and has his sights set on becoming a professional performer. He particularly enjoys the musical theatre genre and his repertoire includes audience favourites from a variety of productions, ranging from heart-rending ballads to powerful rock numbers. He recently performed the role of Freddie, one of the two lead males in the stage musical Chess, when his rendition of ‘Pity the Child’ wowed audiences and received fantastic reviews.

Jazz Artists

Bruce Adams (Trumpet)

Bruce's talent won him the top spot on Hughie Green's Opportunity Knocks and he has made regular appearances at worldwide jazz festivals and much recorded on jazz albums, one of which, 'All the Way', is a duo album with Brian Dee. Playing on stage with the likes of Dick Hyman, Benny Carter and Jack Parnell, he is a 3 times winner of the 'Top Trumpet Prize' in the British Jazz Awards.

Alex Garnet (Saxophone)

Alex is a leading distinctive saxophonist with a great number of recording credits and worldwide festival appearances, whose contributions have been made across the whole gamut of musical genres from underground through jazz to pop. He has played with the likes of Johnny Dankworth, Humphrey Littleton, Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones.

Bill Coleman (Double Bass)

Brought up and educated in Leicestershire, I became a professional musician after leaving college. Since then I have toured the world playing music of different kinds in many of the world’s great venues. As a freelance bass player, I have been privileged to have worked with a myriad of the world’s great jazz musicians including Kenny Clarke, Jake Hanna, Mundell Lowe, Jimmy Bruno, Louis Stewart, Martin Taylor, Bobby Wellins and Pete King, to name a few, as well as popular music artists such as Helen Shapiro, Kiki Dee, the Vagabonds and the Barron Knights. I have also been active as a composer, writing shows and other works as well as teaching in several schools including Rugby, Oundle, Oakham and Uppingham. I have been, until his death, a member of Kenny Ball’s Jazzmen, probably the most successful ’trad’ band in history (14 chart singles). I also run a small musical management company and agency featuring high-profile jazz musicians.

Clark Tracey (Drums)

Clark grew up in a vibrant jazz environment and turned professional at 17 in joining his father Stan, the leading UK jazz pianist. With huge international experience and of great renown he is the 5 times winner of 'Best Drums' in the British Jazz Awards and the winner of the Ronnie Scott's Club award for 'Best Drummer' in 2007. He has given master classes at prestigious institutions, including the Royal Academy of Music and Leeds College of Music, and currently is a visiting drum tutor at the Birmingham


Brian Dee (Piano)

Brian came into prominence at Ronnie Scott's Club in the late 1950's and played opposite such greats as Miles Davis and Dudley Moore. As a player and session musician he has had terrific wide experience in orchestras and an accompanist to singers of such fame as Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee and Elton John. For the last 10 years of its existence he played with the famous Ted Heath Orchestra.


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