Schools from Merseyside descended on the M & S Bank Arena, Liverpool in a celebration of youth, music, energy and sheer talent on a stratospheric scale for the annual Peace Proms concert.
It was an uplifting, inspiring and often moving event as the 100-strong youth orchestra from Ireland performed against a stage-to-ceiling backdrop of 2,000 local school children that formed the Liverpool Children’s Peace Choir.
Dressed in plain white T-shirts, the children symbolized peace and harmony.
The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) was central to the event. The Orchestra was formed 24 years ago as a peace initiative and is an inspirational musical reflection of Ireland’s shared history and journey towards reconciliation. The Orchestra has come to symbolize a modern, talented, forward looking and inclusive Ireland.
Charismatic conductor Greg Beardsell was on stage and literally danced his way through a programme packed with powerful anthems, emotional ballads, current chart-toppers and hits from the musicals.
Along with the orchestra and choirs, several soloists gave one sparkling performance after another. Stunning soprano Amber Dixon from County Down enthralled the audience with performances of ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ while power-house vocalist Lauren Murphy from County Monaghan blew everyone away with Princes’ ‘Purple Rain’ and Dolores O’Riordan’s ‘Zombie’.
Event organiser, Sharon Treacy-Dunne, said: “There were many magical musical moments throughout the Peace Proms concert, but an explosion of excitement, youthful verve and energy lifted the roof off the arena when the choirs sang.
“You could tell how much they loved singing medleys of current chart-toppers and hits from the musicals. But perhaps the most spine-tinglingly beautiful moment was when the orchestra joined forces with 2,000 strong Liverpool Children’s Peace Choir to perform the inspirational and uplifting peace anthem ‘I Sing Out Peace’ by Mark Hayes.
“The core message of universal peace was most powerfully conveyed here and once again at the end of the concert when and a rousing rendition of ‘You’re the Voice’ by the full ensemble of orchestra, choirs and soloists brought down the house in spectacular fashion to a spontaneous standing ovation!
“You could see how sheer joy resonated in every note they sang, inspiring a real and tangible feeling of hope for the future”.