WELSH superstar mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins headlines this year’s four-day Proms in the Park summer music festival in Haywards Heath in July.
She returns to West Sussex this summer for a charity concert when she will be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. Appearing alongside her is special guest John Owen-Jones, best known for playing the titular role in The Phantom of the Opera and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
She will also be joined by the internationally renowned London Welsh Male Voice Choir, which will provide backing vocals. The performance will mark a reunion for the singers as they supported Katherine Jenkins on stage several years ago.
The choir, spearheaded by BBC reporter Huw Edwards, has appeared at some of Britain’s biggest venues, performing during the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012 and appearing alongside luminaries such as Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Charlotte Church.
Katherine has performed for the Pope, presidents and royalty – including performing by special request at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. Most recently, she wowed audiences and critics alike with her performance as Julie Jordan in Lonny Price’s semi-staged production of Carousel at the London Coliseum.
Having signed the biggest recording deal in classical music history at the young age of 23, she officially became the world’s most successful artist in UK classical chart history when her latest album, Celebration, become her 12th UK classical No1 album in 12 years.
Tim French, founder of It’s Magic Events, which is staging the event, says, “Katherine has a one-of-a-kind talent and we are delighted to welcome her back for our summer festival this year. We’re excited for what will be an unforgettable concert and I encourage people to bring their rugs, chairs and picnics for a lovely summer’s evening in the park.”
Above: Katherine Jenkins
Above: London Welsh Male Voice Choir
Below: The Bohemians
Above: The Brass Volcanoes
Below: Neil Diamond tribute act Hello Again: The Story of Neil Diamond
Above: the Roy G Hemmings Hits of Motown Show
There will also be performances by The Bohemians, the Queen tribute band that will Reprising Queen’s legendary Greatest Hits, the UK’s best-selling album of all time, will lend its own ‘kind of magic’ to the Haywards Heath Proms In The Park this summer.
Reprising Queen’s legendary Greatest Hits – still the UK’s best-selling album of all time – The Bohemians promise to rock the town with their two-hour, electric high-energy show, including a faithful re-staging of Queen’s iconic Wembley ’86 and Live Aid performances.
Also taking to the stage will be foot-tapping troupe Brass Volcanoes, a London-based brass band that has its own special fusion of Jamaican, Eastern European, swing, Latino, gospel and blues influences inspired by the sound of New Orleans.
On the first night of the festival, a diverse musical line-up includes everything from classical music to toe-tapping jive before an internationally renowned Elvis Presley tribute act closes the night.
The Ensemble Reza Community Orchestra, which includes more than 22 families from the local area, will kick off proceedings with a programme of popular classics featuring In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg, Hoe Down from Copland’s lively Rodeo, and Nimrod from Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
Afterwards, Jive Time features dance supremo Colin Tenn of Brighton Jive performing his renowned Latin dance moves to the sound of spectacular swing tunes.
The evening will culminate with the Brighton Jive coming together to support Elvis Presley tribute artist Mark A Wright, who will recreate the sights and sounds of classics such as Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock and Can’t Help Falling in Love.
Mr French adds, “The Ensemble Reza Community Orchestra is immensely talented and offers a great opportunity to introduce youngsters to classical music.”
And as part of a double bill, one of the country’s most definitive Neil Diamond tribute bands will appear alongside an internationally renowned Motown music show.
Fans of classic Neil Diamond tunes such as Sweet Caroline, Hello Again and Love on the Rocks will be treated to faithful covers performed by Brooklyn Creed & The Salvation Band and accompanied by the Brooklyn Horns and Ascending Strings.
The show will take audience members on a musical journey through the singer’s glittering 50-year career, mixing evocative imagery, video and narration along the way.
Sharing the stage will be Roy G Hemmings’ Motown Show, which follows his career as the longest-running member of The Drifters. The concert will cherry-pick Motown’s greatest hits including Baby Love, Dancing In The Street, My Girl, I Can’t Help Myself and I Heard It Through The Grapevine.
This year, the festival is supporting three charities: Woodlands Meed School in Burgess Hill, Kangaroos Fun Disability Clubs and Sussex Autism Support.
Proms in the Park Summer Music Festival is at Victoria Park, South Road, Haywards Heath, from Wednesday-Saturday July 11-14. Four-day ticket £55. Visit itsmagic.org.uk.
Community Orchestra, Jive Time and Elvis On My Mind perform at 6.30pm, 7.45pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday July 11. Tickets £5/child free.
The Bohemians: Queen tribute band and The Brass Volcanoes perform at 7.15pm and 8.45pm on Thursday July 12. Tickets £15/child age 5-15 £7.50/u5s free.
Roy G Hemmings’ Hits of Motown Show and Hello Again: The Story of Neil Diamond double bill are at 7.15pm and 8.45pm on Friday July 13. Tickets £20 online/£25 on the gate/child age 5-15 £10/u5s free.
The Katherine Jenkins concert is at 7.30pm on Saturday July 14. Tickets £30/£35 on the door/child age 5-15 £15/u5s free. Tickets also available from Broadbridges, Sussex Road, Haywards Heath.