A welcome return to Proms in the Park
13th February 2019
MWS is delighted, once again, to be invited to headline at Maidstone Proms in the Park on 25 May 2019 at Whatman Millennium River Park, an unforgettable day of FREE outdoor musical entertainment at the purpose-built Millennium Park Riverstage and arena.
Though considered an expansion of Last Night of the Proms (arguably the most famous of all classical music festivals), Proms in the Park actually has its origins in the 18th Century 'promenade concerts'. These were a regular feature in London’s public gardens and so called because of the informal atmosphere, at which eating, drinking and promenading were permitted.
Sir Henry Wood, the conductor most associated with The Proms, established the repertoire for the Last Night of the Proms that continues to this day: Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, and Jerusalem.
The party atmosphere was largely at the encouragement of the colourful Sir Malcolm Sargent, who first conducted the Proms in 1947. He grasped a prescient opportunity to enliven already raucous audiences emboldened by post-war victory to create a sense of triumphalist celebration, the hallmark of all Last Night of the Proms performances ever since.
Modern Last Night of the Proms audiences continue the tradition, resplendent in outlandish costumes, singing passionately (even though they might not know the words!), firing cannons of streamers, blowing penny-whistles, and sounding quacking ducks in a high-spirited celebration of patriotic pride.
The Proms is now an integral part of the British festive social fabric, indelibly lodged in the national consciousness. And such is the expectation when MWS takes the stage, to
–initially perform a number of specially commissioned contemporary arrangements from popular film and theatre (including, among others, The Greatest Showman, The Wiz, Mary Poppins, and The Wizard of Oz) and then
–finish with rousing performances of the Henry Wood Proms classics …in which singing, flag-waving, duck quacking and high spirits are encouraged if not mandated!
In keeping with MWS philosophy, we’re committed to delivering not merely a concert but a memorable spectacle, an interactive celebration of life and music both for the audience and (more importantly) with the audience. We look forward to you joining us in the revelry and merriment!
For more information on the Maidstone Proms in the Park, please see Visit Maidstone's website.
Written by Russell Joyce, Chairman