Thursday 6 September 2012, 17:01
Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of year again. It is time to locate the picnic hamper, ensure the wellies are well waterproofed, and find a poncho that has ample arm room to accommodate any flag waving endeavours.
Unless you are an Olympic athlete this is your only legitimate opportunity this summer to appear in public wrapped in the flag of your region, for, ladies and gentlemen, the annual hootenanny that brings the glorious summer festival of music that is the BBC Proms to a close is here. It is time for Proms in the Park, our contribution to the closing ceremony that is the Last Night of the Proms!
On Saturday 8 September we are returning to beautiful Caerphilly Castle, with conductor Tecwyn Evans and a programme with a magical theme.
We will be joined on stage by soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, a Swansea girl, who will be a familiar face to many of our audience. A former member of celebrated choir The Sixteen, Elin has forged a stunning solo career, with appearances on both the opera and concert platform, and solo recordings, not to mention an Easter Sunday performance at the Vatican. Additionally, she frequently undertakes presenting duties for the orchestra's Live on Radio 3 concerts.
Also appearing with us will be cellist Laura van der Heijden, winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. Laura will this season perform concerti with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players, amongst others, and this will be a lovely opportunity to hear her in Caerphilly.
Tenor Wynne Evans completes our line-up of soloists, and along with our own chorus (fresh from their five Proms appearances this season), and presenters Alex Jones (The One Show) and Tim Rhys-Evans (Only Men Aloud), this, like many of our great British traditions (bog snorkelling, Morris dancing), promises to be an evening suitable for the whole family.
It is important too to remember what this evening is actually about. In a year that has seen the arts come under increasing pressures, now, more than ever, it is essential that we show how important the arts are to us, and to our communities. Proms in the Park, coming at the end of the BBC Proms, the world's largest classical music festival, celebrates the great British tradition of orchestral music, choral singing, and commitment to the arts.
The weather forecast for Saturday is optimistic, so come along! Help us to celebrate the close of the 2012 BBC Proms. They have been fabulous, and now we look forward to another exciting year of top quality music making in Wales. This a great opportunity to have some good, clean fun, a massive sing song, and will, at the very least, be an opportunity to get another turn out of all the merchandise we've all bought for various royal weddings and jubilees.
BBC Proms in the Park will be held in Caerphilly’s Owain Glyndŵr Fields on Saturday 8 September. Gates open at 4.30pm, with the concert starting at 7.45pm. Tickets are available on the gate. For more information visit the BBC Proms in the Park website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2012/september-08/14530)