The Birmingham Prom and CBSO Song Festival for mass voices marked the opening of Green Heart, twelve acres of stunning parkland space in the centre of the University of Birmingham campus on Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 June.
The Birmingham Prom on Saturday 8 June was led by the University of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Festival Voices and alumni singers. The event featured an array of musical festivities, with Prom classics such as Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance and Rule Britannia, favourite opera arias, and sensational show tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein with star young soloists Sarah Redgwick and Anthony Flaum, topped off with some resplendent fireworks! The day was buzzing throughout with pop-up brass bands, flute and clarinet choirs, all made up of former and current students, and University Samba Band performances and workshops.
For the second day on Sunday 9 June the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra led a Song Festival live at the Green Heart. Inspired by festivals in the Baltic States, where thousands of people gather in the open air to celebrate their community in song.
Participating choirs spent the morning rehearsing Baltic and British music led by CBSO Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and Chorus Director Simon Halsey. Then throughout the afternoon, the renowned CBSO Chorus, community choir SO Vocal, the University of Birmingham Summer Festival Voices, and the participating guest choirs took to the stage to showcase a wide-ranging variety and talent of singing from across the UK.
To conclude the festivities all of the singers came together as a single massed choir for a show-stopping evening concert accompanied by the world class City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, with renditions of orchestral and choral favourites which included Stravinsky The Firebird, Handel Zadok the Priest and Parry Jerusalem.