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Gracing the concert skies - Carolyn’s wonderful flying machine

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: April 20, 2012

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A WORLD War Two Spitfire will fly over Shugborough this summer when the popular proms night returns to the historic estate.

The aerial show by the Mark IX Grace Spitfire will open the event with a dramatic display of twists, turns and dives as the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) perform a selection of music including Edward Elgar’s Nimrod.

The plane, which has performed at numerous airshows and reenactments since 1990, is flown by the world’s only female Spitfire pilot, Carolyn Grace.

Her exciting displays have won many fans with some travelling great distances to see the rare two-seater Spitfire in flight.

Following her 10-minute display the NSO will present a two-hour concert of favourites from composers including Handel, Bizet, Vivaldi and Strauss, film music from Bridge Over The River Kwai, The Mission and Dambusters ending with the much-loved style of Last Night of the Proms and a spectacular firework finale.

The NSO will also be joined by tenor Mark Luther and soprano Abigail Iveson who will perform two solos with the orchestra in the first half and lead the flag- waving finale.

The event on Sunday, August 19, will round off a weekend of spectacular open air music events at Shugborough.

On the Saturday Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra with special guest Chris Difford perform a picnic concert.

Chris Bailey, director of EMS Concerts, which is staging both concerts, said: “It’s a real pleasure to present the Spitfire Proms in August and I am delighted that we can add Carolyn Grace and her iconic plane.

“I am sure that the NSO will deliver what many people have requested, a classical evening which will feature a programme that everyone will know.

Both nights will be picnic-style concerts and we encourage the audience to bring their own chairs, rugs and cushions.”

Gates open at 5pm with the support artists on stage from 6.30pm.

Tickets for Jools Holland are £32 adults/£15 children aged five to 15; Spitfire Proms £27 adult/children under 16 go free.

To book for these events call EMS Concerts on 01603 660444 or see www.emsconcerts.co.uk.

Tickets are also available from the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre and www.theticketfactory.com.

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