I happen to come from a family that LOVES the royals. We love the tradition, the pomp and ceremony, and the pageantry. We are those nutters you see on telly who, instead of having their public holiday relaxing at home, are on the first train to London to go and sit on the Mall, decked out in red, white and blue. We were there at Kate and Wills’ wedding in 2011 and we were there at the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. You get the picture…
Sense of excitement
…So imagine how excited I was when it was announced today that HRH The Prince of Wales will be visiting Durham University on 15th February. Not only this but as a member of the Orchestral Society Symphony Orchestra (DUOS), I get the opportunity to perform for him!
As part of the Prince’s visit, DUOS’ Symphony Orchestra will be celebrating the centenary of composer Sir Hubert Parry’s death. We will be performing a selection of Parry’s finest music for the Prince and 350 other guests, with a programme including ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I Was Glad’ in the aptly grand and historic setting of Durham Cathedral.
To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, the programme will also perform two songs from Songs of the Fleet by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, sung by the University’s Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen. DUOS will be joined by a 150-strong choir comprised of the University’s Choral Society and Chamber Choir, as well as County Durham Youth Choir and the Durham Cathedral Choristers.
Chance of a lifetime
DUOS President Alex Barker summed up the excitement of the student performers; “Every member of DUOS is thrilled to be putting on a private concert for the Prince of Wales as part of his visit to Durham University. We are well aware that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we are very grateful to Jeremy Dibble and Durham University for the chance to take part in this historic occasion.
The orchestra’s intensity, focus and energy have noticeably ramped up as we prepare to prove to the future King of England why we are simply one of the best student-run orchestras in the country.”
To perform one of England finest compositions, alongside some of the University’s finest performers, in a World Heritage site, in front of His Majesty, is nothing short of a privilege and an honour. With just days to go until the big day, it’s time to get to work!
Read more about HRH Prince Charles’ visit to Durham
Find out more about Music Durham and student music at the University