Guns set to blaze for 10th Battle Proms concert at Blenheim Palace

Witney Gazette: A spectacular fireworks display from a past Battle Proms concerts A spectacular fireworks display from a past Battle Proms concerts

A 10th anniversary Battle Proms concert is being staged in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock at the weekend.

The concert will make its annual appearance in the grounds of the palace, and the musical programme on Saturday will mark the centenary of the First World War.

Cavalry displays will be carried out in First World War regalia, before The Rockabellas take to the stage with a medley of wartime songs.

The event takes its name from Beethoven’s Battle Symphony, which includes 193 live firing cannons as part of the score. Battle Proms is the only concert in the world to perform the piece with its full complement of gunfire.

Event director Adam Slough said: “This year’s Battle Proms looks set to be the best yet. It is a milestone in our relationship with Blenheim Palace and our wonderfully loyal audience, many of whom come every year.

“We are also on the North Park site which is the best auditorium for the choreographed Spitfire display.

“This year the iconic Grace Spitfire will be flying in to Jupiter by Holst, a dramatic piece we know to be a favourite of the Battle Prommers.”

At the concert there will also be an orchestral performance of Lest We Forget, a short work composed for 2014, in memory of those who lost their lives during the war.

Opening with a solo trumpet fanfare, the performance will incorporate iconic songs from the era including It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and Mademoiselle from Armentières before ending with a solo trumpet performance of The Last Post.

Witney Gazette:

  • Taking part in this year’s march, from left, John Slough, Dave Beeks, Mathew Starnes, Derek Jenkins and Gary Fowler

At the start of the concert there will be a gun salute by an original First World War 13 pounder field gun that is taking part in a commemorative War Horse Ride next month.

This year the Battle Proms are sponsoring the War Horse Ride, in which horses and riders recreate a 100-mile five-day journey made by 8,500 men from Maroilles to Néry across France.

The trek was made in the opening weeks of the war by British and French cavalry troops retreating from the German advance.

Mr Slough’s father John, who will be taking part in the march, said: “My team and I are incredibly proud that we are taking the 13 pounder that features at the Battle Proms on to France at the end of August, to be a key part of the historic War Horse Ride.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of such an important event which will commemorate the brave soldiers of 1914, and we would like to thank the Battle Proms team for their support.”

Witney Gazette:

  • Patriotic crowds take in the music and displays

The War Horse Ride 2014 will raise money for The Not Forgotten Association, a charity supporting wounded or sick members of the armed forces and ex-servicemen and women with disabilities.

About 35 riders, each representing one of the regiments and corps that made up the Cavalry Division, will set out to ride 100 miles across France over five days, following a route taking in the sites of some of the most famous cavalry actions of the opening weeks of the war.

  • Adult tickets for the Battle Proms are on sale now for £35.
  • Gates are open 4.30pm, the entertainment starts at 5.30pm, and the event finishes at 10pm. For further information and tickets visit battleproms.com




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