BIRKENHEAD SCHOOL 150TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT WITH THE ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AND CONDUCTOR VASILY PETRENKO 
© Peter Lovatt

It was a real honour to be invited to perform at the 150th Anniversary of Birkenhead School on Saturday 18th June 2011. I have been so fortunate to have had a long standing relationship with the internationally renowned Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra since beginning my vocal studies.  I first performed with them at the age of 18 in several local concerts and was then given the fantastic opportunity to perform with the RLPO and Conductor Carl Davis CBE, at the famous Leeds Castle concerts in Kent and later with Conductor Vasily Petrenko at the Opening Ceremony of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture Year at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

© Peter Lovatt

I always enjoy performing at outdoor concerts as I love the relaxed atmosphere of the evenings, the sense of celebration and close rapport with the audience – (and seeing all of their wonderful picnic creations and costumes!)   I was particularly thrilled to be able to perform again with the RLPO  under the baton of their wonderful Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko at this event.

Birkenhead School in association with their media partners Wirral News, for the first time, organised a spectacular public event as the grand finale of their 150th Anniversary celebrations. The school established in 1871 is based on a wonderful spacious “village green” campus which on a daily basis is home to boys and girls of age three to 18 years. The Headmaster John Clark and his staff did an amazing job in organising such a spectacular event.

Thankfully the weather, despite unfavourable forecasts, was really kind to us and much to everyone’s relief  – although it was a chilly evening for June! 

@Peter Lovatt

 After an afternoon of rehearsals the concert commenced with the Birkenhead School’s Big Band and the audience of 3,000+ were then treated to performances by some of the schools very talented young pupils.  Roger Philips from BBC Radio Merseyside compèred the evening and the RLPO then took to the stage with Vasily.  It was great privilege for me to join these talented musicians singing some Bizet, Saint-Saens, Lehar and Lerner & Loewe in the first half of the concert and Boubil & Schonberg and Rodgers & Hammerstein in the second.  The programme concluded with Tchaikovsky’s, ‘1812 Overture’  with a spectacular firework display and  Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”   It is such a great moment to join the audience in singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’  and witness the sea of flags across the audience!

A special thank you to everyone at Birkenhead School  for their wonderful organisation and hospitality, to Vasily and the orchestra and to all of the people who  attended  the concert for making the event such a special occasion.

Kathryn x

   Find out more about what’s on during Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2011/2012 season .