Battle Proms 2014 takes place at Hatfield House today

Live cannons at Battle Proms

Live cannons at Battle Proms

Archant

Battle Proms returns to Hatfield House today (Saturday) and the ever-popular classical concert will commemorate the centenary of World War One.

Enjoying a picnic at classical concert Battle PromsEnjoying a picnic at classical concert Battle Proms

Featuring sublime music, fireworks, a breathtaking Spitfire aerial display and live cannons, it promises to be an unforgettable evening in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Oak Field.

Gates to the Hertfordshire stately home open at 4.30pm, with the Spitfire air show due around 8pm, weather permitting.

The musical programme at this year’s open-air concert will pay homage to the First World War centenary.

The thrilling cavalry displays will be carried out in World War One regalia, before The Rockabellas take to the stage with a medley of songs popularised during the war.

The Spitfire air display at Battle Proms 2013 at Hatfield HouseThe Spitfire air display at Battle Proms 2013 at Hatfield House

Battle Proms is also offering a fantastic opportunity to see a piece of history in action.

To herald the start of the concert there will be a gun salute by an original World War One 13 pounder field gun that is taking part in the commemorative War Horse Ride in August.

This epic ride, sponsored in part by the Battle Proms, will see horses and riders making the 100 mile, five-day journey from Maroilles to Néry that was made 100 years ago in the opening weeks of the war by British and French cavalry troops in retreat of the German advance.

Organisers of the annual picnic proms are proud to announce there will also be an orchestral performance of Lest We Forget, a short work composed especially for the 2014 Battle Proms, in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in World War One.

Opening with a solo trumpet fanfare, The Rouse, and incorporating iconic songs from the era, Lest We Forget takes in It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, What a Friend We Have in Jesus – the tune used by soldiers for When this Bloody War is Over – and Mademoiselle from Armentières, recognisable to most as the tune to Hinky Dinky Parlez-Vous, before ending with the emotive solo trumpet performance of The Last Post.

Conducted by Douglas Coombes, the classical programme will also include Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Beethoven’s Battle Symphony complete with live cannons.

The night will come to a rousing climax with traditional Proms favourites, including Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, and a fireworks display around 10pm.

Adult tickets cost £40 per adult on the gate.

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