Get ready for the Battle of Hastings Proms

Battle of Hastings Proms. Picture by Chris Johnson Photography
Battle of Hastings Proms. Picture by Chris Johnson Photography

PREPARATIONS are under way for next week’s Battle of Hastings Proms.

The concert, which is on Thursday (July 3) in Alexandra Park, marks the start of the Hastings Beer and Music Festival.

Features which have lent the evening its own unique flavour in previous years have been the enthusiastic singing of the 150-strong Hastings BIG Choir and since last year, the instrumental accompaniment of the contest-winning Battle Town Band, a 30-strong brass and percussion ensemble.

Tony Lee, chairman of Hastings Beer and Music Festival, said: “To mark the centenary commemorations of the First World War we have chosen the Royal British Legion as our Proms charity this year, with volunteers on hand collecting throughout the evening, so if you fancy coming along in period costume I’m sure we can rustle up a prize, but lest we forget it all for charity so please give generously to this fantastic cause.

“For those able to arrive from when gates open at 6pm look out in this week’s Observer for the £1 off voucher on your first drink before 7.30pm.”

Conductor and impresario Roger Wilcock will be leading this year’s Battle of Hastings Proms. He said: “Conducting anything at all is hugely exciting. To have eye contact and to work in harmony with nearly 200 musicians is a thrill you can hardly describe and when it is a Prom concert in which the audience themselves become part of the performance, there is nothing else like it.

“When we sing the chorus of Rule Britannia! I make sure there is a huge cymbal crash after those words. It is like an almighty wave hitting Hastings harbour arm in a storm.”