The Great British Proms
at Blickling Hall Saturday 12th August 2017
The great British Proms is returning to Blickling on 12 August to wow thousands of concert-goers with an even more impressive programme than last year. The event which has become an annual favourite in the Norfolk calendar, is promising a very special formula with the National Symphony Orchestra, Brit award-winning Only Men Aloud and Soprano Annette Wardell leading the way with a programme of anthemic music from around the British Isles. In the first half, the great British tunes will include “The Dam Busters March”, “Bread of Heaven” “Danny Boy” and “Flower of Scotland” and several of the performers have close ties with Norfolk.
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) is renowned for being one of the very best in the country, and although based in London, it performs throughout the UK, drawing its fine players from around the country. Simon Munday, their principal trumpet and brass and wind contractor is in fact, Sheringham born and bred and Justin Pearson, General Manager and Artistic Director, has owned a cottage in North Norfolk for the last 25 years!
Justin said: “When we were invited to play at Blickling, it was like being asked to “come home” to perform”! The National Symphony Orchestra is thrilled at the prospect of performing this year’s Blickling Proms, we have always enjoyed a very special rapport with audiences in Norfolk and I feel sure that the attractive programme, especially devised for this year’s concert, will delight. We have a 50-piece symphony orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis, who has conducted more concerts at the Royal Albert Hall than any other living conductor. We shall faithfully recreate the buzz of the Last Night of the Proms under immense Norfolk skies, thrilling to 1812 Overture, being charmed by the dazzling diva Annette Wardell, an entire band of pipers, fireworks, Only Men Aloud and a full symphony orchestra. Unmissable!”
The National Symphony Orchestra have performed a few times with the Brit Award-winning Only Men Aloud (OMA). A couple of years ago, they did a summer series of Last Night of the Proms across the UK and as Craig Yates, a baritone in Only Men Aloud says: “We love performing with a live orchestra and the NSO are one of the best.” Formed in 2000, with the aim of injecting new blood into the Welsh choir tradition, they came to prominence in 2008 as BBC One’s Last Choir Standing. Following a reinvention of themselves as a “honed and toned vocal ensemble” in 2013, they have toured and established a considerable fan base worldwide. On their last UK tour, they played in Hunstanton for the first time and had a fantastic night and the Theatre Royal in Norwich remains a favourite venue. Craig, who had grandparents from East Anglia and often spent holidays in Blakeney, said: “Quite a few of the men have been to Norwich to watch some football over the years, when their side has been playing Norwich City. Niall, another baritone, had his birthday meal in Delia’s restaurant at the football ground when OMA were touring one year!”
We all know there is an unmistakable tug at the heartstrings when you hear the collective sound of powerful men’s voices singing together. So why is it so emotive? “It’s something very special to hear, and even more amazing to be part of. Sometimes, when you are in the middle of a choir, it’s incredible to stop and listen to the sound around you. It’s almost tribal it’s so powerful. OMA would be nothing without the incredible tradition of the Welsh Male Voice Choir that has been going for so many years. It’s in the blood of the people of Wales – after all we are the land of song.”
The Norwich Pipe Band will also be joining the great British musical tribute, bringing a special sense of tradition and uniqueness to the Scottish pieces, before walking up the centre of the crowd to mark the end of a what will be a truly memorable first half. The second half will see a fabulous rendition of all the Proms favourites including “Rule Britannia”, “Land of Hope & Glory” and British anthem “Jerusalem” before a fireworks spectacular over the lake.
Revival Productions is led by Lisa Ward and Katharine Brindley, long-standing friends and business associates. They have considerable experience of putting on classical music events at stately homes up and down the country. Revival Productions’ first open-air classical concert, “Last Night of the Blickling Proms,” was held in August 2012 and has continued annually since, attracting crowds of over 5,000 each year. In August 2016, they held “Classic Ibiza”, also at Blickling Hall in Norfolk, with Urban Soul Orchestra and Goldierocks. Due to the success of the concerts, in 2017 “The Great British Prom” www.greatbritishprom.co.uk and “Classic Ibiza” www.classicibiza.co.uk are also being rolled out to Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire, Bowood House in Wiltshire and Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) is one of the longest established (1940s) and most versatile professional orchestras working in Great Britain today. It has a firmly established national and international reputation, successfully performing and recording for audiences in a dynamic range of genres: Classical, Film and TV scores, West End and Broadway Musicals and accompanying celebrated international singers.
Urban Soul Orchestra (USO) is a contemporary and versatile string ensemble with a unique twist, incorporating percussion, bass, drums, DJ and vocals. They have worked for 20 years at the top of the UK music industry, specialising in recording sessions for top artists, major corporate events and exclusive private parties. Founded by violinist, conductor, orchestrator and arranger Stephen Hussey, they were invited by Oasis to perform at their second album launch for (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? They were then asked to do the same for Mariah Carey’s Christmas party; ever since then they have been delighting audiences internationally.
Goldierocks (AKA Sam Hall) has played exclusive sets for Madonna, Giorgio Armani, Richard Branson and Jade Jagger. Her weekly global radio show ‘The Selector’ goes out to 44 countries and with 4.3 million dedicated weekly listeners, she was named by the The Evening Standard as “the most influential woman in Pop”. 2016 saw Sam become the ‘face of dance music’ for Capital FM presenting The Capital Weekender with Ministry of Sound, she also launched her own weekly independent, specialist mix show ‘Firefly Mix Series’ on Pioneer DJ Radio and became the new co-host for Bestival FM.
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