Burghley House once again provided a spectacular backdrop for the 12th annual Battle Proms open air picnic concert on Saturday night, attracting more than 6,500 people.
Hundreds of people made the most of the dry weather by bringing picnics to enjoy - and some even made a real occasion of it with candelabras on their picnic tables and toasting the occasion with a glass of something fizzy.
And the event once again proved to be patriotism at its very best with Union flags flying proudly and some even wearing outfits featuring the colours, as they enjoyed a choreographed
The musical programme started with a moving performance from piper Mark Bisset with The Battle of the Somme, an especially poignant piece composed by William Lawrie, a Scotsman who himself fought at the Somme and later died from his injuries. Battle Proms also marked the centenary of this important historical event with a thrilling mounted cavalry ride by Crown and Empire to Suppé’s Light Cavalry Overture, carried out in full First World War regalia.
The 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and the 90th birthday of the Queen were also marked at Battle Proms - proving the event really is the Best of Britain.
The full programme of sublime classical music also included the Battle Proms signature piece – Beethoven’s Battle Symphony – performed as he intended with the full complement of 193 live firing cannon providing a thunderous percussion!
The meticulously choregraphed Spitefire display proved as popular as ever with the crowd, and there was a full orchestral performance by the New English Concert Orchestra and conducted by Douglas Coombes.
The evening was brought to a close with a spectacular fireworks display and the crowd all standing for a flag waving finale, singing along to Prom favourites including Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem.
Each year the concert raises funds for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans. Combat Stress provides free specialist clinical treatment and practical support to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health conditions including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety. This year more than £6,100 was raised from audience donations at the Burghley House Battle Proms, although the counting continues.
Faye Walters, volunteer and community fundraising officer at Combat Stress, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated to us. We’re thrilled with how much has been raised.
“The Battle Proms season is a great opportunity for Combat Stress to raise much needed funds and awareness, and every year the Battle Prommers never disappoint with their support. Since 2004 the amazing amount raised by the concerts has helped us to reach thousands of veterans across the UK and support them in rebuilding their lives. With the donations received at the weekend we can continue doing that”
The Battle Proms will return to Burghley House on Saturday, July 8, 2017. You can find more information at www.battleproms.com or www.combatstress.org.uk, and enjoy the entries to the Battle Proms Photo Competition online at www.facebook.com/battleproms and www.twitter.com/battleproms.