The Music Fest has been running since 2014 featuring a wide variety of musicians.
The first year of the Music Fest involved just four concerts. The Thursday evening opener featured flautist Kathryn Cartwright, supported by the Opus 3 Piano Trio (Christopher White, Jonas Seeberg and Melanie Reinhard). The Friday night was a concert given by Rising Young Musical Stars of Leicestershire, while the Saturday evening featured the Harborough Singers and the Great Bowden Recital Trust Adult Vocal Choir. The finale of the inaugural festival featured an International String Octet involving Christopher White, Jonas Seeberg, Melanie Reinhard, Johannes Gurth, Pedro Cortinas, Vernon Dean, Vanessa White and Matthew Forbes.
The 2015 Music Fest followed a similar format to 2014 with an opening concert featuring the Opus 3 Piano Trio and Kathryn Cartwright, following by a Friday night concert of Rising Young Musical Stars. For the first time Jazz featured in the Music Fest, and the Saturday night concert was a ‘Celebration of Jazz’ performed by the Festival Big Band. The finale of the 2015 Music Fest was ‘A Summer Serenade’ featuring the Harborough Singers and for the first time the Festival Orchestra led by Christopher White, plus soprano Caroline Trutz.
This year saw the introduction of the musical theatre evening on the Friday night, as well as the continuation of the Saturday evening Jazz concert, this year given by the Leicester Grammar Big Band. The Thursday evening opening concert featured Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the Dvorak Piano Quintet. For the first time there was a Coffee and Chamber Music Concert on Saturday morning and the Music Fest finale once again starred the Harborough Singers and the Festival Orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria.
The format from 2016 was once again followed in 2017. The opening concert was ‘Mostly Mozart’ including Eine kleine Nachtmusik and featured soloist Vanessa White, while Friday’s musical theatre extravaganza included the Great Bowden Recital Trust Adult Vocal Choir led by Tracey Holderness, as well as a variety of solo artists. The Jazz concert on Saturday was given by a band led by jazz legend bassist Bill Coleman. There were Coffee concerts on Saturday and Sunday, and the finale of an ‘English Summer Serenade’ featured the Great Bowden Camerata and the Harborough Singers and included ‘The Lark Ascending’ and Handel’s Coronation Anthems concluding with Zadok the Priest.
The 2018 Music Fest opened with a 'Classical Souvenirs' concert featuring Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major and the Piano Quintet in A major (Trout), and Tchaikovsky's String Sextet in D minor. Friday night was once again Musicals Night, featuring solo artists throughout the evening singing songs from 1927 through to the present day. Saturday morning's Coffee Concert included Beethoven's Violin Sonata No 5 in F major played by Fest founders Christopher White and Melanie Reinhard. Saturday evening saw a highly entertaining performance by the Rutland Big Band. Sunday morning's coffee concert featured Radu Prissada (piano), Vanessa White (Violin) and Elizabeth Elliott (violoncello). The Sunday evening finale included the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor. The orchestra were joined for the second half by the Harborough Singers and soloist Caroline Trutz in a variety of choral pieces climaxing in Worthy is the Lamb - Amen from Handel's Messiah.