The band's annual Night at the Proms event was held in front of a packed and enthusiastic hall. This year's theme was 'A night at the Big Top' and the crowd were entertained before the concert even began by Mr Steve Kaos White who showed off his range of circus skills including juggling and stilt-walking to warm up the audience.
The music began with Julius Fucik's 'Entry of the Gladiators' followed by the introductions of 'ringmaster' Neil Beecham who amused and informed the audience throughout the evening in equal measure, and vocal soloist for the evening James Morley.
The music continued with 'Come follow the band' from the musical 'Barnum'. This lively arrangement of CY Coleman's music by Edrich Stebert features the Bass section in its introduction and is the first of many pieces over the course of the evening to have a link to P.T. Barnum.
Vocal soloist James Morley brought his first item of the evening when he joined the band in performing 'A Million Dreams' (B. Pasek & J. Paul; arr. Paul Drury) from the hit movie 'The Greatest Showman'.
Barnum and Bailey's Favourite March (K. King; arr. Peter Roberts) featured some more of Steve Kaos White's Circus skills during the band's performance and was followed by a second item by James Morley. There seemed to be some confusion with this item, as James originally began by singing the soloist part to J.A. Greenwood's 'The Acrobat', before returning to its more traditional format as a trombone solo.
Oliver Ridley (Soprano Cornet) then brought Frank Bryce's beautiful arrangement of Steven Sondheim's 'Send in the Clowns' before the exciting 'The Big Top' by Paul Lovett-Cooper moved the first half forward.
The first half's final vocal solo was brought by James who performed with the band to bring Take That's 'Greatest Day' (arr. Gavin Lamplough) from their 'Circus' Album before the half was brought to a rousing close by a medley of tunes from 'The Greatest Showman' (B. Pasek & J. Paul; arr. Paul Murtha) which featured the band alongside the Birmingham Citadel Dance Group.
The second half started with a number of items themed to coincide with the 100 years since the end of WWI & 80 years since the start of WWII. The opening number 'The RAF march-past' was swiftly followed by Ray Steadman-Allen's arrangement of Gustav Holst's 'I vow to thee my country'. This section was concluded by the soulful Euphonium solo 'Benedictus' from 'Armed Man' (arr. Jenkins) before Major Adrian Allman brought us some thoughts.
James brought to us his final two items for the night, joining the band to sing 'Climb Every Mountain' (Rogers & Hammerstein; arr. P. Harper) before his final vocal solo John Legend's 'Ordinary People.
James and Neil joined the band for the traditional Proms finale starting with the melody Fantasia on British Sea Songs including a mid-section encore of the Sailor’s Hornpipe where the crowd enjoyed clapping to the tune whilst trying to keep up with the ever-increasing tempo. Land of Hope and Glory was the next song for fervent flag waving with Pump and Circumstance March No 1.
Stephanie Lamplough then joined the band for a rendition of Rule Britannia before the evening ended with with the traditional 'finishers' Jerusalem and the National Anthem.
The Salvation Army march Under Two Flags was the finale as the Birmingham Citadel Band and Union Jack flags were marched into the hall and joined together to conclude yet another fantastic evening.