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Concerts In The Park: Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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Thousands Flock To Sutton Park For Two-Day Music Treat
Glorious sunshine helped bring out the best in the music being performed in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, as Concerts in the Park 2018 hit all the right notes with audiences. The crowd basked in the wonderful sunny weather on both Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July for Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council's second annual Concerts in the Park event. With headline performances each day from the world-class City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) the weekend featured 117 professional artists and 514 community performers.

Concerts in the Park, Sutton Park
The crowds flocked to Sutton Park for Concerts in the Park. Credit Andrew Fox

Saturday's programme saw audiences on their feet and dancing with Swing Era to the sounds of Down for the Count's Vintage Swing Orchestra before Ex Cathedra took to the Sutton Park stage to perform songs from across the centuries. Down for the Count then returned to the stage with their Motown Collective. Saturday headliners CBSO, conducted by Dirk Brossé, filled the park in the evening with musical highlights including the Strauss Overture, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker and Bernstein's West Side Story as well as Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: Montagues and Capulets, and Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty Waltz, with TVs Josie d'Arby compering the concert. The CBSO were accompanied on some numbers by BBC Strictly Come Dancing vocalist Lance Ellington. The finale saw the audience up on their feet waving their union jack flags to Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem and The Can-Can.

Concerts in the Park, CBSO, Dirk Brosse
Dirk Brosse conducts the CBSO. Credit Andrew Fox

On Sunday, the sold-out Family Woodland Concert saw families enjoy performances from a 10-piece ensemble from the CBSO and Ex Cathedra Sing Makers alongside a wonderful range of local choirs – 514 community performers in total graced the various stages. The main stage was compered by BBC Radio WM's Daz Hale whilst in the adjacent woodland area, new for 2018, the acoustic tent included storytelling by Gavin Young, Poetry by Sutton Arts Forum and acoustic performances by local singers and musicians. Throughout Sunday, craft activity was provided by Sutton Coldfield Creation Station including making everything from woodland hats to flags. Silent Noise Events produced a Silent Woodland Disco while Sutton Coldfield Community Games encouraged everyone to join in sports activities including gymnastics, martial arts and table tennis.

Concerts in the Park, Swing Ea
Swing Era help get the crowd on their feet. Credit Andrew Fox

Over the course of both days, Floral Jazz, who salvage unwanted musical instruments and turn them into beautiful artistic creations, decorated the site. Refreshments were also provided with artisan food and drink keeping the audience fed and watered, offering everything from pizza, burgers and flatbreads to deli treats, ice cream and crepes. Also, new for 2018, audiences were able to enjoy the Simpson's Gin Bar botanical tent along with firm favourite the re-designed drinks fire engine.
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Why? Fabulous Music To Match The Glorious Weather In Sutton Park
When: June 30 and July 1
Phone: 0121 296 9543
Where: Sutton Park, Thornhill Road, Sutton Coldfield B74 3EW
Cost: June 30 tickets £20 adults £10 children
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by Tony Collins on 01/05/2018
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