International soloist prepares for new concert with Blackpool orchestra

Blackpool Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and soprano soloist Jane Irwin are now back into the swing of full rehearsals in preparation for their next concert later this month.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 3:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 3:40 pm
Jane Irwin

The concert will be held at Hodgson Academy, Poulton, on Saturday November 27 at 7.30pm. It will include Malcolm Arnold’s Scottish Dances plus the Overture in C by Fanny Hensel, the first time in its 101 year history that the orchestra will have played a piece by a female composer! The highlight of the evening will be Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony, a piece reckoned by many musicians to be one of his greatest works.

International soloist Jane joined forces to perform a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ Concert at Blackpool Grand Theatre in September.

BSO were playing live in concert for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic and were joined by the Jane, who sang pieces by Tchaikovsky and Wagner. In addition to those pieces the programme included the traditional, flag-waving Last Night favourites of ‘Rule Britannia’, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. The orchestra also gave a first live performance of local composer Ed Rugman’s beautiful arrangement of Somewhere Over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz. The orchestra made a distanced recording of this last year which won several prestigious national awards including a commendation from the Royal Philharmonic Society for on-line collaboration.

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Wendy Pallant, Blackpool Symphony Orchestra’s Chairman said: “We were extremely excited to be playing live again after so long. 2020 was the orchestra’s centenary year but due to Covid we were unable to celebrate it properly. We fully intend to make 2021/22 a centenary plus 1 season to remember and were delighted to kick it off by making our first performance in such an iconic venue.”

After the concert conductor Helen Harrison said: “I’m absolutely on cloud nine. Until I stood on the podium I hadn't really allowed myself to believe this concert would happen after so many cancellations and disappointments in the last 18 months. But it did and it feels blissful.”

The full audience at the Grand Theatre certainly agreed with her, giving the orchestra and soloist a standing ovation at the end of the concert.