A WIRRAL family have hit all the right notes to earn a spot at the prestigious BBC Proms.
It will be a family affair for composer Ian Stephens, wife Mandy and daughters Maisie, aged 10, and Lily, eight.
The musical ensemble will have Mandy playing clarinet in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, along with Maisie and Lily singing in the Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs.
They will perform in London at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, September 1.
Liverpool Philharmonic’s family matinee includes The Big Proms Bear Hunt, based on Michael Rosen’s children’s book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Presented by the author, the concert will also have music by the great classical composers including Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Elgar, Britten, Grieg, Mussorgsky and Shostakovich. Music from films will be played – Pirates of the Caribbean and The Little Mermaid – all bound together with original music by Liverpool-based composer, Ian Stephens, and conducted by Matthew Coorey.
Children’s books illustrator Tony Ross, whose credits included the Horrid Henry series, will draw pictures live on big screens.
Ian said: “I’m really thrilled that my music for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is being performed at the Proms – it’s a huge honour for me as a composer.
“But what makes this event much more special is that all my family are involved in it – Mandy, my wife, playing clarinet in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and our daughters, Maisie and Lily who will both be singing their hearts out in the Children’s Choirs.
“All the girls’ grandparents will be there in the Royal Albert Hall cheering them on, along with a generous helping of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends!
“Maisie and Lily are both book-mad, and can’t quite believe that they’re going to be sharing a stage with Michael Rosen and Tony Ross – both of whose marvellous words and illustrations they’ve enjoyed since they were tiny.”
Accompanying the family will be 83 musicians of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and 140 children aged seven and up, accompanied by close-on 50 Liverpool Philharmonic staff and parent-helpers.
A specially-chartered train – dubbed the Liverpool Philharmonic Music Express – has been laid on.
Luggage includes 88 instruments plus a celeste and a vast percussion section for the professional musicians, plus 48 instruments and more percussion for the children’s orchestra.
Three hundred family members will be travelling to the concert.
The 6,000 tickets sold out in May.
Michael Eakin, Liverpool Philharmonic’s chief executive said: “Liverpool Philharmonic has developed a strong family audience for our family concerts series at home in Liverpool, and we know how thrilling the experience of hearing a symphony orchestra play live is for all ages.
“So we are very excited to be presenting such an innovative concert programme at the BBC Proms, bringing together our professional musicians in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with two of our children’s ensembles.
“Along with Michael Rosen and Tony Ross, whose stories and illustrations have given such huge enjoyment to so many children and families, the appeal of such a wonderful combination of music and storytelling is evident in the speed at which our Prom sold out.”
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has performed at the BBC Proms before, though Sunday’s concert is a Proms debut for both Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs and the young musicians of In Harmony Liverpool.