Volunteers at a Merseyside music festival are busy preparing for an opening weekend that includes choirs, West End show tunes and an organist from Liverpool Cathedral.
The Prescot Festival opens on Friday 21 June with Birkenhead Operatic Society, aka BOST (pictured), one of the North West’s most renowned musical theatre groups. The ‘Best of British’ programme will feature songs from Oliver! The Phantom of the Opera and Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, among other shows. They come fresh from their hit production of The Full Monty, at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.
The festivities continue on Saturday 22 June with Liverpool Harmonic Gospel Choir, under the leadership of Tyndale Thomas, and a performance of Fauré’s Requiem, by Prescot Festival Chorus. There’s still time for choral singers from across the region to sign up for the occasion.
On Sunday 23 June, Liverpool Cathedral’s Daniel Bishop plays the organ of St Mary’s – the impressive 17th-century parish church that towers over the historic Lancashire town – and organisers are throwing in cheese and wine to help concertgoers get more for the £4 ticket price.
The 10-day festival continues into the following week with a programme that features music from Benjamin Britten, born 100 years ago this year, and Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra soloist Gethyn Jones (Friday 28 June).
In a nod to Armed Forces Day, Wirral Brass’s evening concert (with buffet, Saturday 29 June) will include military classics such as Aces High, by Ron Goodwin, and John Williams’s Hymn to the Fallen, from the film Saving Private Ryan. The band will also pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II, on the occasion of 60 years since her coronation.
“We’ve always aimed to be accessible and affordable,” said Founder and Artistic Director Dr Robert Howard, “and we’ve worked hard to provide a programme this year that offers an unrivalled selection of music at prices that are hard to beat.”
Event prices range from £0 to £8, with several concerts in the £4-£6 range. Other highlights of the week include a barn dance, a Young Instrumentalist of Prescot competition, and a musical celebration of 125 years of the Salvation Army in Prescot.
Full event and ticket information is online at prescotfestival.co.uk.