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Royal Albert Hall Press Release 2nd May

02 May 2019 | BY BPSO

Charity Gala Concert by the British Police Symphony Orchestra

Royal Albert Hall, London
Saturday 11 th May 2019

In celebration of its 30th Anniversary, the British Police Symphony Orchestra (BPSO) is to host a unique Charity Gala Concert in the Royal Albert Hall, London at 7.30pm on Saturday 11th May, 2019.

With over 600 performers drawn from the police service throughout the UK, the BPSO, under the direction of its conductor, Richard Jenkinson, will be joined by massed police choirs, fanfare brass and, for two special items on the programme, pipes and drums. Front- line representatives of the majority of UK police forces will also play a key role, including, fresh from their show-stealing performance on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent on 27 th April, PC Dave Wardell and retired PD Finn, the canine hero of Finn’s Law.

The concert will be presented jointly by the Orchestra’s very own PC Danny Mizon (Metropolitan Police) and the popular TV presenter Nick Knowles. All proceeds from this special event will be used to support to work of three charities: Care of Police Survivors (COPS), the National Foundation for Youth Music and the BPSO itself. Care of Police Survivors (COPS) is a charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty, rebuild their lives. It aims to ensure that survivors have all the help they need to cope with such a tragedy, and that they remain part of the police family.

The National Foundation for Youth Music is a national charity investing in music-making projects that help children and young people develop personally and socially as well as musically. Projects break down barriers to music-making that children and young people face because of who they are, where they live, or what they’re going through. Youth Music supports them to build their confidence, resilience, and self-esteem.

Fanfare trumpets on high will herald the start of the Gala Concert, with 450 voices then joining the Orchestra in Borodin’s rousing Polovtsian Dances and later, in more reflective mood, for John Williams’ Hymn to the Fallen. The evening’s programme of music guarantees something for everyone and includes works by Sibelius, Quincy Jones and Wagner.

Over 5,000 blue flashing lights will fill the Royal Albert Hall during Rick Wakeman’s “Dance of a Thousand Lights” whilst favourite television crime fighters past and present will be easily identified by their themes in the Orchestra’s world premiere performance of a specially commissioned suite, “A Musical Salute”.

Mahler’s powerful finale to Symphony of a Thousand will provide a most fitting climax for this unique celebration of British policing.

The British Police Symphony Orchestra was founded in October 1989, since when it has become widely recognised as one of the top non-professional national orchestras in the UK.

In uniting the police service and the magic of music to engage, excite and enlighten people in communities throughout the UK, the BPSO performs a unique ambassadorial role on behalf of the British police service. All members of the Orchestra are either serving or retired police officers, police staff, or other members of the wider police family. They give up their time completely free for monthly rehearsals and concert performances and travel from all over the UK at their own expense.

At another level, the Orchestra also works within local communities by providing outreach workshops and engaging with those for whom access to live music is difficult. Past participants in these ‘PlayOut!’ events have included military veterans, young adults with profound visual impairment, ‘hard to reach’ children – some as young as four years old – in inner-city schools and the elderly and infirm in hospital, amongst many others.

During 2018 members of the Orchestra were hugely honoured when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II graciously bestowed The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) upon the BPSO. This is often referred to as the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups and is conferred in recognition of excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. Royal endorsement with a Queen’s Award represented a tremendous accolade for the Orchestra at the beginning of its 30 th Anniversary year.

Tickets for the Charity Gala Concert on Saturday 11 th May are available from the Royal Albert Hall Box Office at: