Centenary celebrations continue with special Proms in the Park event

Posted on 15 Jul 2019

We continued our 100th birthday celebrations at the weekend with a special centenary production of our annual Proms in the Park event.

More than 2,000 people attended the music-and-fireworks extravaganza at the school’s Blundell Park playing field which was held in glorious sunshine this year.

As promised, the centenary event included a number of amends and additions to the traditional programme, including an all-new pyrotechnic finale.

This featured items as varied as Mussorgsky’s epic Great Gates of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition and a crowd-pleasing version of the Can Can!

The concert - sponsored by National Tyres and Autocare - showcased the musical skills of around 250 students from the College and Preparatory School, and was conducted by Director of Music Andrew Byers.

There were special guest appearances by acclaimed soprano Rachael Russell, a former pupil, and the choir from Great Crosby Catholic Primary School.

The compere for the concert was popular BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips, an old friend of the school.

Roger introduced many of the traditional favourites from the famous Last Night of the Proms Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, including Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory.

Audience members were also treated to music as varied as a Blues Brothers review, selections from the James Bond film soundtracks, the Bill Withers classic Lean On Me and medleys of songs from the hit musicals Matilda and Wicked.

In another unusual feature, the College Junior Choir were conducted by talented Sixth Former Matteo Ressa, and accompanied on piano by Head Girl Georgina Duncan.

Earlier in the evening many audience members had taken advantage of the ideal weather to enjoy an open air picnic before settling down to the musical entertainment and some frenetic flag waving.

And this year, they were also able to visit a special centenary pop-up shop, where items for sale ranged from the recently published new history of the school, to delicious cupcakes arranged in the shape of the milestone ‘100’ number.

St. Mary’s College Principal, Mike Kennedy, commented: “Proms in the Park is widely regarded as one of the most ambitious events staged by any North West school, and our aim was to make it even bigger and better for our centenary year.

“As usual, the evening was a wonderful showcase for the wealth of musical talent that exists at the school, and the standard of performances at the concert was incredibly high throughout.

“I would like to thank all those who took part, and the audience members who came along in such large numbers to support the event. 

“It was a rousing way to mark the College’s centenary year, and definitely an evening to remember,” added Mr Kennedy.