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About GBRT

Established in 2004 by Andrew and Kathryn Cartwright, Great Bowden Recital Trust started its activities by bringing some of Europe’s leading classical musicians to perform in Market Harborough, Leicestershire where every penny profit raised was given to local young musicians who could not afford instrumental lessons.

More than a decade later, the Trust is now a registered music charity providing music-related activities for the benefit of residents in South Leicestershire and North Northamptonshire. The Trust believes in making access to music barrier-free including keeping the cost of event tickets to a minimum, no auditions to any of its choirs and ensembles and a fully all-inclusive approach to each and every one of its activities.

The proven visible, positive impact that music has on the lives of young and old alike, extends to building confidence, communication and discipline, increasing co-ordination and encouraging social relationships between individuals and groups of all ages. The Trust continually strives to encourage personal development by using music in all its forms.


GBRT’s Aim is:

Music development, appreciation and participation for all


Our activity divides into three key areas:

Music Development

The Trust firmly believes that an individual’s financial circumstances should never be a barrier for progressing and developing their skill of singing or playing an instrument.  Therefore, GBRT actively encourages applications for grants towards instrumental or vocal lessons from local young people in the Market Harborough area.  Each academic year, the Trust provides financial assistance towards 600-900 lessons.

Music Appreciation

From the outset, GBRT has consistently provided the opportunity for its audiences to appreciate the very highest quality of musical performance.  The Trust’s events include classical music recitals, Musical Directors & Friends concert where the audience can appreciate the performing talents of the GBRT Choirs & Ensemble leaders and Community Concerts which provide a showcase of the very best local young musical talent – some of which perform in public for the very first time.

Music Participation

The Trust positively encourages both young and not so young to become involved in music regardless of age, experience and background.  The broad range of GBRT choirs and ensembles continue to grow and we number over 250 members who bring their enthusiasm and willingness to work as part of a team to every rehearsal.

The annual GBRT Junior X Factor competition is the largest and most established talent competition in the area. The heats and finals provide the opportunity for positive feedback from professional musicians and the opportunity to perform on stage to packed audiences. Entry and tickets to the finals are completely free and each participant receives written feedback on their heat audition of ways to further improve. This fast growing competition regularly receives amazing feedback from participants and audience alike.