Reading Summer Proms promise musical bonanzaBy Caroline Cook
May 10, 2012
All eyes will be on Great Britain this summer as the country gets ready for the biggest celebration since the Royal Wedding.
And Reading will be having its very own British celebration by hosting a month-long Summer Proms season.
Having started in 1896 as a series of outdoor concerts in London’s pleasure gardens The Proms became a yearly tradition, and Reading launched its own take on the classical music spectacular last year.
The finest musicians will be taking to venues around the town throughout the summer including acclaimed violinist Nigel Kennedy, who will be teaming up with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a Diamond Jubilee Gala on Friday, June 1.
The Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) will also be giving a spectacular concert in The Reading University Great Hall as it marks its 10th anniversary.
“APO is really pleased to be able to take part in the Reading Proms season, particularly as it’s the final concert of our 10th anniversary,” says APO chairman Becky Stewardson.
“We’re particularly delighted to have brought in so many singers from other groups, as well as our own choir, to join us in what should be a sparkling performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”
With high hopes for some sunny weather, crowds will be gathering around the bandstand in Forbury Gardens to enjoy summer afternoons set to the sounds of The Reading Scottish Pipe Band, South Berks Concert Band and Reading Spring Gardens Band.
Reading Minster in St Mary’s Butts will also be throwing open its doors for the Proms, offering a packed programme of events.
“Staff at Reading Minster are pleased to be part of the Reading Summer Prom Season this year, particularly since 2012 sees the launch of an annual Reading Minster Festival weekend,” says Minster festival director Peter West.
“A variety of eclectic events will take place over the weekend of Friday, June 29, to Sunday, July 1.
“Highlights include the Juliet Kelly Trio, a jazz-combo hot from London; Pipes Aloud 2, and a children’s workshop based around the Minster’s historic pipe organ.
“The Minster will be working in association with South Street Arts Centre, which will be presenting an evening with James Yorkston, the acclaimed singer-songwriter.”
No summer celebration would be complete without a cooling jug of something fruity and there will be Hymms & Pimms at Reading Minster on Saturday, June 30.
The Summer Proms will see the town’s best-loved choirs team up for some memorable performances, including the Reading Male Voice Choir and Woodley Concert Band who will be performing a charity concert on Saturday, June 9.
“Reading Male Voice Choir and Woodley Concert Band are delighted to be involved in the Reading Summer Proms Festival programme this year,” says concert organiser Allan Crisp.
“We are looking forward to offering an extremely varied and entertaining programme of music.”
With Union Jacks flying, tea cups at the ready, and, if we're lucky, a bit of sunshine, it will certainly be a great British summer in Reading.
Season tickets for the proms are available from www.readingarts.com or by calling (0118) 960 6060 with prices ranging from £19 for two events to £58 for seven events.
The closing date for booking season tickets is Monday, May 21.
Tickets can also be bought for individual events directly from the organisation performing.
Reading Summer Proms listings
Tuesday, May 22, to Saturday, May 26
The Sainsbury Singers present Thoroughly Modern Millie. The Hexagon. 7.30pm.
Saturday, May 26
Witt Studio Opera. Wesley Methodist Church. 7.30pm.
Friday, June 1
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Diamond Celebration Gala with Nigel Kennedy. The Hexagon. 7.30pm.
Weather & Music Festival. Reading Town Hall. 7.30pm.
Saturday, June 2
Weather & Music Festival. Reading Town Hall. 7pm.
Sunday, June 3
Weather & Music Festival. Reading Town Hall. 10am-4pm.
Reading Scottish Pipe Band Diamond Jubilee concert. Bandstand, Forbury Gardens. 1pm-2pm.
South Berks Concert Band Diamond Jubilee concert. Bandstand, Forbury Gardens. 3pm-4pm.
Saturday, June 9
Town Hall Classics on the Victorian Pipe Organ, with William McVicker. The Concert Hall. 11am.
Reading Male Voice Choir & Woodley Concert Band Gala Charity Concert. The Great Hall, Reading University. 7.30pm.
Grimethorpe Colliery Band. The Concert Hall. 7.30pm.
Sunday, June 10
The Claire Pheonix Band Diamond Jubilee concert. Bandstand, Forbury Gardens. 3pm.
Reading Festival Chorus. The Great Hall, Reading University. 4pm.
Saturday, June 16
The King's Singers – Royal Rhymes and Rounds. The Concert Hall. 7.30pm.
Sunday, June 17
Beenham Wind Orchestra Jubilee concert. Bandstand, Forbury Gardens. 3pm.
Saturday, June 23
Reading Symphony Orchestra. The Concert Hall. 7.30pm.
Tamesis Chamber Choir. St Laurence's Church. 7.30pm.
Sunday, June 24
Reading Spring Gardens Band Diamond Jubilee concert. Bandstand, Forbury Gardens. 3pm.
Henley Symphony Orchestra. Shiplake College. 7.30pm.
Friday, June 29
Reading Minster Festival, Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin. James Yorkston. 7.30pm.
Saturday, June 30
Reading Minster Festival, Children's Workshop, Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin. 10am-noon.
Reading Minster Festival, Hymns & Pimms. Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin. 4pm.
Reading Minster Festival, The Juliet Kelly Jazz Trio. 8pm.
Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir. The Great Hall, Reading University. 7.30pm.
Sunday, July 1
Reading Minster Festival, Jazz Mass, Choral Classics. Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin. 11.15am.
Cholsey Silver Band, Diamond Jubilee concert. Bandstand, Forbury Gardens. 3pm.
Berkshire Maestros Extravaganza. The Hexagon. 9am.
Monday, July 2
Berkshire Maestros Schools Prom. The Hexagon.
Tuesday, July 3
Berkshire Maestros Schools Prom. The Hexagon. 5.30pm.