February 5 2018

I happen to come from a family that LOVES the royals. We love the tradition, the pomp and ceremony, and the pageantry. We are those nutters you see on telly who, instead of having their public holiday relaxing at home, are on the first train to London to go and sit on the Mall, decked out in red, white and blue. We were there at Kate and Wills’ wedding in 2011 and we were there at the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. You get the picture…

…So imagine how excited I was when it was it was announced today that HRH The Prince of Wales will be visiting Durham University on 15th February! Not only this, as a member of the Orchestral Society Symphony Orchestra, I get the opportunity to perform for him. As part of his visit in little over a week, DUOS’ Symphony Orchestra will be celebrating the centenary of composer Sir Hubert Parry’s death. For the Prince and 350 other guests, we will be performing a selection of his finest music including ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I Was Glad’ in the aptly grand and historic setting of Durham Cathedral. To commemorate the end of the First World War, the programme will also perform two songs from Songs of the Fleet by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, sung by the University’s Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen. DUOS will be joined by a massed 150-strong choir comprised of Choral Society, Chamber Choir as well as the County Youth Choir and the Cathedral choristers.

DUOS President Alex Barker commented:

Every member of DUOS is thrilled to be putting on a private concert for the Prince of Wales as part of his visit to Durham University. We are well aware that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we are very grateful to Jeremy Dibble and Durham University for the chance to take part in this historic occasion. The orchestra’s intensity, focus and energy have noticeably ramped up as we prepare to prove to the future King of England why we are simply one of the best student-run orchestras in the country.

To perform one of England finest compositions, alongside some of the University’s finest performers, in a World Heritage site, in front of His Majesty, is nothing short of a privilege and an honour. With just 10 days to go until the big day, it’s time to get to work!