Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

BBC Radio 3 offers the chance to conduct BBC Singers live on air for Comic Relief

Conducting for Red Nose Day

The BBC is offering the unprecedented opportunity for members of the public to win the chance to conduct the BBC Singers – the UK's only full-time professional choir – live on BBC Radio 3 for Comic Relief on Friday 18 March.

Anyone who wants the exhilarating experience of controlling (or not) these world-class voices in a performance of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus live on Radio 3 is invited to enter. Experience and ability is irrelevant.

That's only the first prize. Three other winners will also have the chance to conduct a rehearsal with any one of the BBC's five symphony orchestras in England, Scotland and Wales or the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland at a time and location to be arranged with the would-be maestro.

Lines are open until 10am on 9 March. Full details – including terms and conditions – can be found at

The BBC performing groups – as well as offering themselves up to an armchair conductor or two – are also involved in other fundraising activities for Comic Relief up and down the country.

The BBC Concert Orchestra is at the heart of BBC Radio 3's Big Red Nose Show at the Royal Albert Hall on 14 March.

Stars of the classical and comedy world – including Nicola Benedetti, Sue Perkins, Katie Derham, Basil Brush, Julian Lloyd Webber, Marcus Brigstocke, Tim Vine and many others – join together for a fun night of camaraderie to raise money for Comic Relief.

The show includes an attempt on the Guinness World Record for the largest kazoo ensemble in which the entire audience is invited to join a celebrity kazoo band in renditions of Wagner's Ride Of The Valkyries and Coates's The Dambusters March. The event is broadcast on Radio 3 on Red Nose Day (18 March).

The BBC Symphony Orchestra is giving a light-hearted studio concert on Tuesday 15 March at Maida Vale, London, also for broadcast on Red Nose Day. The concert opens with Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel, about the comic prankster Till and continues with music from Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates Of Penzance, Rossini's Barber Of Seville and Leroy Anderson's Plink, Plank Plunk, Old MacDonald and Syncopated Clock. There will also be fun opportunities for audience participation plus a few surprises.

Live on the day Radio 3 catches up with some antics from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as they rehearse in Bangor at 3.30pm. They'll be working on Sibelius's Violin Concerto with conductor Christophe Mangou and violinist Jack Liebeck as part of the Orchestra's tour of Mid and North Wales, but anything could happen...

In Glasgow, Manchester and London, the BBC performing groups are extending their Learning work for Comic Relief and the results of some of the projects will feature in short documentaries on Radio 3's Afternoon On 3 in the build-up to Red Nose Day.

In Glasgow pupils will be helping BBC presenter Matt Baker to create a comic cacophony as part of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's Our Planet concerts for schools in early March. Armed with an ensemble of car horns, the pupils will be honking up a storm in their red noses to celebrate Comic Relief.

The BBC Philharmonic is working with Comic Relief Charity Age Concern as part of its Community Tour in Manchester, while the BBC Symphony Orchestra is working with two London primary schools to create new comic music to be performed as the centrepiece of fundraising concerts in those schools.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra is also inviting talented young musicians from across London to play side-by-side with the BBC SO in several of the pieces in its Red Nose concert at Maida Vale on 15 March.

Full information about all these events and how to get tickets is available at


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