School boys added to Shropshire proms line-up

Pupils from a Newport school have been added to the line-up of performers attending September’s Proms and Prosecco in the Park event.

Three Year 11 students from Haberdashers’ Adams are set to take to the stage for the classical music event on September 8.

Matt Woods, Nathan Moreton and Joshua Jones will sing alongside Market Drayton-based performers ‘A Choired Taste’ which was formed three years ago by singing tutor Elaine Cook to provide a community platform for those with shared a passion for group singing.

She said: “We are very excited to be performing at Proms and Prosecco in the Park. I have invited three boys from Haberdashers’ Adams to join the choir and we are also hoping a larger group of boys from the school will perform their own number as part of our slot in the programme.

“It should be a fantastic occasion. We love collaborating with groups of singers from schools and try where possible to invite some of them to join us at major events.

“Having this event on our doorstep is a fabulous opportunity and we are delighted organisers want to showcase the talents of local performers as well as those which are more established on the classical circuit.”

There are currently 20 members of the choir, ranging in age from 13 to 80, and the group welcomes people of all levels whether they have previous singing experience or not.

Also taking to the stage at Chetwynd Deer Park is the ever-popular Newport and District Male Voice Choir, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

Twice English National Champions, the all-male group, which has sung at various locations in the UK and toured in Malta, the USA, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, will delight prom-goers with its fantastic repertoire of musical standards.

Shropshire Radio presenter Paul Shuttleworth and toastmaster James Hopkins have also been confirmed as official masters of ceremonies for the event, which will coincide with the famous Last Night of the Proms.

The open-air, family-friendly classical music event is a celebration of British music and culture and is expected to attract thousands of prom-goers.

Leading the stunning line-up of performers and musicians from across the country is British soprano Mary-Jess Leaverland, winner of the Chinese ‘X-Factor’.

The Downton Abbey songstress from Gloucester shot to fame after winning China’s ‘I Want to Sing to the Stars’ show in 2009.

Otherwise known as the Chinese ‘X-Factor,’ Mary-Jess sang in her second language in front of 70 million television viewers to be crowned champion of the talent contest.

Since winning the competition, she has toured with Russell Watson, performed with Sir Tim Rice and Don Black, sang to royalty in Windsor Castle, appeared on numerous TV programmes both in the UK and in China, and was chosen to sing the Downton Abbey theme tune.

She also performed at the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium singing ‘Abide With Me’ in front of a live audience of 90,000 people and a worldwide television audience of 300 million people.

The programme also includes performances by UK quartet String Infusion – a vibrant, all female ensemble playing a mix of acoustic and electric strings.

Prom-goers will also get to hear tenor Jack Foley, who has been invited back by popular demand after last year’s stunning performance.

Esther Wright, director of Newport-based Fizz Festivals, said: “Once again we are delighted to be able to welcome several local acts to the Proms and Prosecco in the Park event.

“Each performance will bring something different to the stage, including classical favourites and songs from the musicals, which will appeal to a wide audience from young children to grandparents and everyone in between.

“One of our key goals with this event is to celebrate the classical talents of British singers and musicians from right across the UK including shining a spotlight on our own local performers.

“We are very keen to provide a springboard for local artists and performers and hope exposure through our event will help project their careers.”

As well as celebrating British music, the event will also feature a range of artisan food stalls, specialist bars serving craft beer and gin and also a dedicated Prosecco bar. There will also be attractions to keep the whole family entertained throughout the afternoon and early evening.

Ms Wright, who also runs events management and consultancy company ElevenTen, added: “Tickets are already selling fast for this year’s event and we will be announcing more exciting news in the coming weeks.

“It really is the perfect event for either a family get together or a day out with friends. Last year Prom-goers went all out to prepare some fantastic-looking picnics and came well equipped with blankets, candelabras, tables, bunting, fairy lights and all sorts.

“The grounds of Chetwynd Deer Park were awash with people waving Union Jack flags to British classics such as World in Union, Land of Hope and Glory and other favourites and we are hoping for another fantastic celebration.”

Around 1,600 people attended the event in 2017 and organisers are expecting an even larger turn-out in September.

Gates will open at 2pm with music for all the family playing from 3pm until 9pm.

To book tickets visit the website www.fizzfestivals.com. Early bird tickets are available until June, priced £19 per ticket or £18 a ticket for groups of 10. Children under the age of 13 go free.

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