On the 17th August, Emma Gilmartin, Aoife Lavery, Petra Wells and myself along with a small group of singers from the Ulster Youth Choir met at the City Airport to catch the early morning flight to Birmingham. We were eagerly anticipating a week full of rehearsals in preparation for our performance in the Royal Albert Hall that Thursday for the BBC Proms. Together with Aberdeen’s Chamber Choir, the National Youth Choir of Wales, the London Youth Choir and the Birmingham University Choir we made up the BBC Proms Youth Choir. We performed alongside the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and well renowned conductor Andris Nelson. The soloists that also performed with us were Susan Gritton, Toby Spence and Hanno Müller-Brachmann. We were performing Britten’s War Requiem which was selected as we were marking 100 years since the start of the 1914-1918 conflict. The orchestra that performed with us was the same orchestra that premiered the Requiem in 1962.
Getting to perform at the Royal Albert Hall with a choir 270 strong and a full symphony orchestra was something none of us could ever have dreamed of. For most of us this will have been a chance of a lifetime and we’re glad we’re able to say we have had this experience and will definitely treasure this memory.
The performance is available to listen on the BBC website.