GBRT Junior X Factor

The annual GBRT Junior X Factor competition is the largest and most established talent competition in the Market Harborough area. The heats and finals provide an opportunity to perform in front of professional musicians and 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. 


GBRT Junior X Factor 2019

Thirteen finalists were selected from more than 50 entrants into this year’s competition. The standard was extremely high and after a closely-fought Finals concert on 16th March the judges were delighted to award the following prizes:

Overall 1st Place:

Martha Clay (Voice) 

Overall 2nd Place:

Ione Banks (Voice) 

Overall 3rd Place: 

Ria Cousins and Ffion Richards  (Voice)

Most Promising Instrumentalist: Emily Bettinson (Violin)

Most Promising Vocalist: Zara Blyth

Best Original Composition: Sam Benson 



Boris Dring, Composition

Sam Benson, Composition


Amber Mullings, Voice, School Years 1-6

Atipa Mugoro, Drums, School Years 1-6

Brennan Vick, French Horn, School Years 1-6

Emily Bettinson, Violin, School Years 10-13

Ione Banks, Voice, School Years 7-9

Lily Ingall, Voice , School Years 10-13

Lotti Timson, Voice/Guitar, School Years 7-9

Martha Clay, Voice, School Years 7-9

Naomi Benson, Cello, School Years 10-13

Oliver Horn, Clarinet, School Years 1-6

Rhea Pancholi, Piano, School Years 7-9

Ria and Ffion, Voice, School Years 7-9

Zara Blyth, Voice, School Years 7-9




All finalists will receive a medal and all prize-winners will also receive an engraved glass trophy.

Overall 1st place will receive a recording studio session at Studio 34 worth £100, a £50 voucher and £100 of vocal or instrumental lessons funded by GBRT.

Overall 2nd place will receive a voucher for £60 towards the cost of a recording studio session at Studio 34, a £25 voucher and £100 of vocal or instrumental lessons funded by GBRT.

Overall 3rd place will receive a voucher for £40 towards the cost of a recording studio session at Studio 34 and £100 of vocal or instrumental lessons funded by GBRT.

Most promising vocalist and most promising instrumentalist will each receive £125 of vocal or instrumental lessons funded by GBRT.

Best original composition winner will receive a £25 voucher and a one to one session with BAFTA crew composer Andrea Possee at her studio where they will receive feedback on their music and an insight into Andrea’s writing process.


Panel Members:

Kathryn Cartwright works as a freelance, solo, chamber and orchestral flautist and has performed at numerous venues throughout the UK and abroad. To date she has performed extensively in the UK and in Ireland, France, Norway, Germany, Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia. Her orchestral work has included: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Opera, Birmingham Royal Ballet, New London Sinfonietta, West London Opera and various West End Shows. Kathryn’s Chamber work includes playing with the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra, Collegiate Wind Ensemble, The Bergamot Ensemble and the Washburn Trio. Other solo work includes performing and recording new works for composers including Cecelia McDowall, Kit Turnbull, Nigel Clark, Paul Max Edlin and Roxanna Panufnik. She has performed on BBC Radio 3, NRK Klassisk (Norway) and BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Kathryn enjoys a balanced life of performing, adjudicating, teaching flute and voice, running large ensembles and travelling extensively as both an orchestral musician and as a senior examiner for Trinity College London.


Andrea Possee is a professional composer who writes for film, TV, games and trailers. She a member of BAFTA crew where she is mentored by BAFTA winners and was on the panel to judge best music in a UK TV series for the prestigious Ivor Novello awards in 2018.  To date she has scored two feature films Catskin, and ‘The Devil’s Rock’ (NZ film council, special FX by WETA workshop) where she received nominations for best score in several film festivals in the US. Andrea’s music has appeared in TV shows like ‘About A Boy’ (NBC), ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ 4music (Worldwide), ‘Building Dream Homes’ (ITV), ’Come Dine with Me’ (Channel 4), ‘This Morning’ (ITV), ‘Bad Robots’ (Channel 4) and ‘Tales of Northumberland’ with Robson Green’ ITV.


Debbie Smith grew up in Suffolk and very soon became a successful vocalist and instrumental musician. In her teens she was tutored by a number of renowned experts, including the opera singer Rae Woodland. She studied classical music at the Trinity Conservatoire in London, with voice as first study and piano as second. Debbie is now a successful tutor with her own teaching business, as well as a musical director and performer. She has tutored students at Robert Smyth and Welland Park Academies and Woodcock Theatre Arts South Leicestershire Performing Arts Academy and leads choirs in schools and in the community, including the GBRT Youth Vocal Choir and Valley Voice. Under Debbie’s leadership the Robert Smyth Academy choir has gained repeated success in competitions including Rotary Club Young Musician and Music for Youth.


John Dilleigh has been accompanying for more than fifty years and has performed in several European countries and Sudan. With a particular interest in vocal music he has worked with numerous vocal ensembles and has partnered with many wonderful vocal soloists. He is proud to be the long standing accompanist for the GBRT Adult Vocal Choir and previously the Youth Vocal Choir and so far has toured Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy with them.





Entrants must live within 20 miles of Market Harborough.

The competition is open to vocalists, instrumentalists and composers in school years 1-13.

Judges decisions are final.

Performance Categories

Entrants may perform as individuals or groups.

Multiple entries into the same category are allowed if you are performing on different instruments/voice. You may also enter as part of a group and as a soloist.

Each entrant should perform one piece of up to 5 minutes in length.

Performances must either be unaccompanied or accompanied by a pre-recorded backing track on CD/MP3 only.

Entrants will be notified by email within 48 hours after the end of the heats whether or not they have been selected to perform in the finals concert.

There is no minimum or maximum number of finalists - all entrants who reach the required standard will be given the opportunity to perform in the finals concert

Audio or visual recording of any of the auditions or finals performances is not permitted.


Composition Prize

Please write a theme tune for the Junior X Factor Competition. This should be an original piece of music, 60-90 seconds long written in any musical style and for any instruments - acoustic, synth or voice

Record and save your composition as a high-quality MP3. Please name this file in the format: JuniorXFactor2019_yourinitials, e.g. JuniorXFactor2019_AB.mp3

Email your MP3  to by 27th February including the name of the entrant in the body of your email.  If the file is too large to email, please send via a free file transfer service such as

The recordings of the top 3 compositions will be played at the finals concert on 16th March where the winner will be announced.


GBRT Junior X Factor 2018



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