This high-concept, 75-minute, multi-media Prom for children (at 11am, Sunday and Monday morning) was an absolute blast. Celebrating fifty years since the first moon landing, conductor Kwamé Ryan led Chineke! (Europe’s first majority BME orchestra), as well as the CBeebies Proms Children’s Choir and the BBC Singers, through a series of space-related orchestral pieces, and an “Off To The Moon” (Iain Farrington) sing-along with actions throughout.
Despite being a Prom designed for children as young as babies, the repertoire was not easy: Chineke! tackled John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” in a startling, rousing rendition, as a giant rocket took off in a cloud of smoke, in the middle of the prommers. All the way through, Chineke! showed off their formidable energy and musicianship.
An orchestral medley of CBeebies theme songs (arranged by Iain Farrington) synced up perfectly with video clips specially animated for this prom, as the Go-Jetters rescued us from the moon and took us back for a selfie in front of the Royal Albert Hall. CBeebies presenters Cat Sandion, Chris Jarvis, Justin Fletcher (aka Mr Tumble), Maddie Moate, Nigel Clarke and YolanDa Brown delighted us with slapstick comedy and gentle suggestions of what to listen out for.
This prom also presented the world premiere of Hans Zimmer’s BBC Ten Pieces commission, “Earth”, which made full use of the swelling, deafening forces on offer, including the mighty Royal Albert Hall organ, for this highly emotive (if cliché) call to care for our planet. The only problem with making this your first concert is that the standard is just ridiculously high. Where do you go from here… the moon?
1,350 £6 Promming tickets are available on the day for every performance.