One of Maidstone’s most popular annual events is returning to Whatman Park this May, with the Proms the Park 2016 concert providing residents and visitors to the area the opportunity to join in the celebrations of the Queen’s 90th birthday on a glorious spring evening.
Scheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2016, the Proms in the Park event offers an entire day of free entertainment that is perfect for families and fans of live music. From community events to local suppliers of food and refreshments, performances by the Hazlitt Youth Theatre to a programme of renowned classical and big band works by Maidstone Wind Symphony, the event promises to showcase the very best of Maidstone during a relaxed and enjoyable May evening.
Arranged in conjunction with Maidstone Borough Council and the Hazlitt Theatre, Proms in the Park 2016 has been scheduled to feature an earlier finishing time in comparison to previous years, thereby enabling visitors with young families to enjoy the performances without the need for late evenings in colder temperatures. As such, while there will be no fireworks display, the earlier finish provides the perfect opportunity to head into the heart of Maidstone and discover the nightlife of the area, or simply head home as the evening chills set in.
“We’re delighted to be able to return to Proms in the Park for 2016,” said Maidstone Wind Symphony music director Jonathan Crowhurst. “Following the success of last year’s performance, we hope to be able to offer a magnificent show for visitors to Whatman Park this May. In celebration of the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, we can’t wait to perform music from each decade of her life, alongside traditional Proms numbers.”
“The schedule for Proms in the Park 2016 promises to offer something for everyone,” added Natalie Moor, General Manager at Hazlitt Theatre. “We’re proud to be working alongside Maidstone Borough Council and Maidstone Wind Symphony to put on this free event for all ages. With the Hazlitt Youth Theatre also set to take to the stage, we’re certain that those in attendance will be able to enjoy a great day’s entertainment and magnificent community spirit.”
Maidstone Wind Symphony
Widely regarded as one of the United Kingdom's finest wind orchestras, Maidstone Wind Symphony was founded by Brendon Le Page in 1998, and has had musical directors including Jeremy Cooper and current director Jonathan Crowhurst.
Under the baton of Jonathan, the orchestra has greatly expanded its repertoire and championed new music for wind orchestras. Resident at All Saints Church in Maidstone, where it gives around six concerts each season. In summer 2014, the orchestra was invited to take part in the inaugural National Concert Band Symposium in Canterbury, a new organisation devoted to the promotion and development of the wind orchestra. It is also the current National Concert Band Champions having won the NCBS in 2015.
Hazlitt Youth Theatre
The Hazlitt Youth Theatre started in September 1997 as a weekly workshop for 11-18 year olds. Since then, HYT has expanded dramatically and now consists of nearly 200 members, aged 6-18 years. Each week, members attend a workshop dedicated to the learning of different aspects of the theatrical world, including acting, performing arts, improvisation, devising, text work, theatre styles, film, stage combat, mime, and a whole lot more. In recent times, members have devised and produced their own work and learnt the basics of lighting and sound design.
The Maidstone Singers, founded in 1998, is a group of 20 accomplished singers who perform a cappella choral works dating from the 16th century to the present day. Based in Maidstone, concerts take place locally and also internationally. In recent years, performances have been given in Croatia, Slovenia, Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Malta, France, Portugal, and Spain. In 2014, the Maidstone Singers even appeared in an episode of the popular BBC series ‘Call the Midwife’.
We're delighted to announce that Helen Bailey will be joining Maidstone Wind Symphony for the finale of its performance at this year's Proms in the Park.
Middlesbrough-born soprano, Helen Bailey, is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music opera course, Trinity College of Music, and Liverpool John Moores University.
Helen enjoys a busy schedule of opera, oratorio, and recital engagements, appearing regularly as a soloist with Bromley Oecumenical Singers, Ember Choral Society, Hampton Choral Society, and Sutton Valence Choral Society. Recent highlights include Jenkins' The Armed Man with the Voices for Hospices choir at Kempton Park racecourse, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle with Botley Choral Society, and Mozart's Mass in C minor with Ember Choral Society.
Opera roles include Pamina (The Magic Flute, Ryedale Opera), Micaela (Carmen, Meantime Opera) Véronique (Le Docteur Miracle, Popup opera), and Giovanna (cover, Giovanna d'arco, Buxton Festival Opera), Helen has also sung principal roles for Hampstead Garden Opera, Blackheath Halls Opera, British Youth Opera, and Bath Festival Opera.
This summer, Helen will return to Buxton Festival Opera to cover the title role in Beethoven's Leonore. See www.helenbailey.org for more information.