City of Norwich Pipe Band drum up support for Great British Prom

City of Norwich Pipe Band pipe sergeant, John Welton, plays the pipes at Blickling Hall where the pi

City of Norwich Pipe Band pipe sergeant, John Welton, plays the pipes at Blickling Hall where the pipe band will be taking part in the Proms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant

The Great British Prom is returning to Blickling this summer and, as well as showcasing the likes of the National Symphony Orchestra, Brit award-winning Only Men Aloud and Soprano Annette Wardell, some of the performers will be coming from much closer to home.

The Norwich Pipe Band will be joining the great British musical tribute on August 12, bringing a special sense of tradition and uniqueness to the Scottish pieces, before walking up the centre of the crowd to mark the end of a what will be a truly memorable first half.

The pipe band, whose members range in age from their 20s to over 70, will be performing in the first half of the concert which focuses on great British anthems from around the home nations and the Scottish part will include 'Flower of Scotland' and other Scottish favourites.

Pipe Sergeant John Welton MBE said: 'The City of Norwich Pipe Band is proud to be playing its part in the prestigious proms at Blickling Hall and contributing to what is sure to be a superb evening's rousing entertainment.

'Playing alongside a full symphony orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis, who has featured in more concerts at the Royal Albert Hall than any other living conductor, a well-known choir and vocal soloist is the sort of challenge that band members relish.

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'Blending the sounds of the pipes and drums with other instruments and voices is a way of showing the surprising range of our instruments and their players.'

2017 is proving to be a very busy and interesting season for the City of Norwich Pipe Band which was formed in 1979. After featuring in the traditional round of New Year and Burns Night celebrations, the band began preparing for what turned out to be a highly successful three date tour of southern Germany taking part in musical displays in 5000 seat indoor arenas alongside military bands from Ukraine, Moldova, Germany and the Netherlands.

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Part of the preparations saw the band record its first CD sales which also added to the success of the tour.

The band is also honoured to be invited to play during the moving sunset ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, in September.

Local engagements are also keeping the band occupied with Armed Forces Day in Lowestoft and Wymondham, the Sandringham Flower Show and the ever-popular Lord Mayor's Procession in Norwich.

Although amateurs, several members have previous military experience and others have learned to play with the band. All are well used to the big occasions. Several members of the band have played with a symphony orchestra in Norwich before at the annual New Year's Day Concert and the full band has played alongside many Military bands including The Coldstream Guards, the Royal Irish Regiment, The Pipes and Drums of the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Band of the Parachute Regiment; a few have also taken part in the Edinburgh Tattoo with other pipe bands.

It's going to be a special evening, with stirring sounds to ensure another classically British outdoor concert experience is enjoyed by all.

The second half will see a fabulous rendition of all the Proms favourites including 'Rule Britannia', 'Land of Hope & Glory' and British anthem 'Jerusalem' before the fireworks spectacular over the lake.

Car-parking is free and there will be food and drink available on site. For more details on the events, visit or call 01630 674342. Tickets are £35 in advance (£38 on the night).

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