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My weekend.

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Roland Taylor Roland Taylor | 09:57 UK Time, Monday, 20 July 2009

I spent most of the last three days down at the Royal Albert Hall and it didn't feel like a minute too long. It's so exciting to be with the Prommers, the BBC Staff and the performers. I produced the Stan Tracey Prom and was bowled over by the level of musicianship from all of the players. Watching and listening to these musicians prepare and perform is a real treat. I had to keep popping out of the space where I sit with the studio manager, running around to the van where we record the Prom and listening to the superb mix that our Marvin Ware (who mixed the music for Radio 3) created. Have a listen, it's amazing. I also spent some time sitting next to Geoffrey Smith, the presenter, in the hall. The live sound was equally impressive.

Producing a Prom is a strange business, mostly fun, but with heightened moments of stress. Getting the transition right from Broadcasting House to the Royal Albert Hall and back again is where the real challenge lies. I felt that we did a good job with the Stan Tracey prom, but you can judge for yourself. There's also no substitute for rehearsing the start of the Prom. Performers all have their own approaches to getting on and off the stage. Some like to walk on before and settle in, some enter together, some are happy to be guided, but atmosphere is everything.

Last year I produced a late night Prom which featured Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. The performers, presenter and I went to great lengths to work on the atmosphere, getting on and off the stage, introducing the programme to the listeners at home, as well as the Prommers in the hall, and creating a sense of reverence to start the Prom.
The real trick is striking a balance between the needs of those attending the event and the listener's at home.


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