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BBC Proms 2019 - Solo Debut!

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Prom 14: Joseph Haydn - The Creation

Monday 29 July 2019

Sarah Jane Brandon - Soprano

Benjamin Hulett - Tenor

Christoph Pohl - Baritone

BBC Proms Youth Choir

BBC Philharmonic

Omer Meir Wellber - Conductor

"From its opening Representation of Chaos, through the creation of stars, seas and storms, a magnificent musical sunrise and of course every animal from whales to eagles and even a worm, The Creation is one of the great musical dramas, teeming with life and detail."

Omer Meir Wellber conducting Haydn's 'The Creation'
@ BBC/Chris Christodoulou

On Monday 29th July, I made my BBC Proms solo debut at The Royal Albert Hall!

I performed the Mezzo-Soprano solo in Haydn's oratorio 'The Creation' with the BBC Proms Youth Choir, BBC Philharmonic and excellent soloists; Sarah-Jane Brandon, Christoph Pohl and Benjamin Hulett under the direction of Omer Meir Wellber.

This was my third time performing at The Royal Albert Hall, having performed in the First Night of the Proms 2018 with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the premiere of 'The Great War Symphony' for 'Classic FM Live'. I remember being taken aback at the sheer size and beauty of the venue at the time, and that feeling certainly remains each time I visit! It was wonderful to be a part of The BBC Proms as it currently celebrates it's 125th season!

Standing front of stage with soloists Benjamin Hulett, Christoph Pohl, Sarah-Jane Brandon and Conductor Omer Meir Wellber

BBC Proms Youth Choir

The 'BBC Proms Youth Choir' is a fantastic organisation, this year made up of the BBC Proms Academy, RNCM Chorus, University of Manchester Chamber Choir and University of Birmingham Chamber Choir.

Each choir lead independent rehearsals in the months leading to the concert. All choirs combined en masse on Thursday 25 July at Chetham's School of Music's 'Stoller Hall'. This was particularly poignant for me as I last performed 'The Creation' with fellow students of Chetham's in the same hall to mark the end of my time at the school.

Rehearsals were lead by Simon Halsey, Julian Wilkins and Grace Rossiter. I would like to thank them for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm!

During rehearsals, the choir was told of the opportunity to audition for the Mezzo-Soprano solo in the final movement of the oratorio. After successfully auditioning to perform the solo, I was incredibly excited and rushed to call my family and tell them the good news. I am very grateful to the directors of the BBC Proms Youth Choir for providing me with such an amazing opportunity!

After two days of rehearsals at Chethams, we moved over to The Studios at Media City to join the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Soloists!

I was so incredibly lucky to share the stage with immensely talented soloists:

They each gave phenomenal performances and watching them perform was incredibly inspiring! I would like to thank each of them for being so kind to me and putting me at ease during my first ever solo at the BBC Proms!

Conductor: Omer Meir Wellber

It was an honour to perform under the direction of Omer Meir Wellber - Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic - for his second performance with the orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. It is obvious that the orchestra greatly admire Omer, and rightly so, as not only does he have great talent, but also a kind personality.

Post concert celebrations
Post Concert Celebrations!

Friends from the Vonnegut Collective

It was so lovely to see friends from the 'Vonnegut Collective' in the BBC Philharmonic. I met trumpeter Gary Farr (Pictured below) and violinist Gemma Bass during a 'Manchester Contemporary Youth Opera' course in the summer of last year.

With Gary Farr - Trumpeter of the BBC Philharmonic

An Unforgettable Experience!

I still cannot quite believe that I stood and performed at the front of the Royal Albert Hall Stage. It feels like a dream!

It was the most amazing feeling to be doing what I love most and sharing music at one of the best musical festivals in the world. I am so very lucky!

Where can I hear it?

The concert was broadcast live on BBC radio 3. It was lovely to know that my family were listening to the concert back at home. They are always extremely supportive of my musical adventures! It was also surreal to have my name mentioned live on radio!

You can catch up on the performance on BBC Sounds by following the link below:


Taking bows after the performance.

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1 Comment

Alan Penk
Alan Penk
Aug 01, 2019

Absolutely amazing

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