Evening at the Arbroath Proms

An evening at Arbroath Proms held in the Webster Theatre on Friday evening. Our picture shows the orchestra and vocalists for the event with musical director Richard Allan.
An evening at Arbroath Proms held in the Webster Theatre on Friday evening. Our picture shows the orchestra and vocalists for the event with musical director Richard Allan.

ARBROATH’S Webster Memorial Theatre was the venue for a musical feast on Friday based on the BBC’s ‘Last Night of The Proms’.

The concert, held to raise money for the Childrens Hospice Kinross and Macmillan Nurses, was an idea of James Hutcheson who also directed the show, with Richard Allan as musical director.

Guest soprano was Alison MacDonald, who enthralled the audience with each of her performances.

The ‘Friends’ group of singers who for 10 years now have performed and raised money for a village in Sierra Leone and charities in the Angus area, was joined on the colourful and full stage by an enthusiastic, happy and well conducted orchestra.

All the performers had given freely of their time for this evening and the large audience certainly rose to the occasion, with flags flying and horns tooting at all the appropriate moments .

The varied programme opened with the Overture ‘Light Cavalry’, and this gave Richard and his orchestra a chance to set the mood of the evening, which they certainly did.

Next was a selection of Gilbert and Sullivan, James Bond Themes, Chorus Line, and Rogers and Hammerstein pieces, and two haunting arrangements of the Skye and Mingulay boat songs. ‘The Easter Hymn’ from ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ was beautifully performed and at this point was heard the lovely soprano voice of Alison MacDonald who also led the ladies in the well known ‘Nuns’ Chorus’ from ‘Casavona’.

‘Dances With Wolves’ from the same named film opened the next part of the evening followed by a ‘Salute To The Big Apple’ featuring ‘New York, New York’, ‘42nd Street’ and ‘Lullaby of Broadway’.

Alison returned to the stage to delight the audience with the beautiful ‘O Mia Babbino Caro’ by the Italian composer Puccini.

A change of mood, and a new arrangement of ‘Flower Of Scotland’, especially arranged by Ron Walker of the Tayside Symphony Orchestra. This was well received with the audience singing along in fine voice.

‘I Vow To Thee My Country’ and ‘Radetzky March’ led to the famous ‘Fantasia On British Sea Songs’ and ‘Pomp and Circumstance March No 1’, with Alison leading the company and audience in the traditional Proms ‘Rule Britannia’.

With the audience standing and flags flying the curtain fell on a memorable evening for both the prommers and the performers. A fitting end to this ‘Evening at the Arbroath Proms’.

There were many fine performances from individual members of the company during the evening, all of which added to the enjoyment of the concert.

The money raised will be announced at a later date.