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Castle Proms with Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Jo Appleby and Noah Stewart wows the crowd

By Lynn Cox

There is something quite special about the pomp and circumstance of the Rochester Castle Proms.

Thousands of people packed into the Castle Gardens with their Union flags and George crosses for the concert.

Flags to the fore at the Castle Proms

It was an unforgettable evening of classical anthems in a perfect open-air setting which turned into a sea of flags and waving arms.

Jo Appleby singing at the Castle Proms

First on stage were opera band Amici Forever who were joined former band member, soprano Joanne Appleby, who also later performed solo numbers and a duet with operatic tenor Noah Stewart.

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the the Hertfordshire Chorus, didn't disappoint the crowds with a selection of classical flag-waving favourites, including the Sailor’s Hornpipe, Spartacus Adagio, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Rule Britannia and of course Jerusalem.

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in action at the Castle Concerts

Fantasia's Sorcerer's Apprentice kicked off the beautiful water fountains at the sides of the stage as the crowds enjoyed their picnics and their fizz.

Opera fans watched in awe as petite Joanne Appleby hit the high notes as she took to the stage in three different outfits.

Tenor Noah Stewart's performance of Nessun Dorma got people out of their chairs on their feet in admiration of his powerful voice, and he dedicated the performance to all those how died in the the Malaysia Air tragedy. The gesture won him a round of applause.

And as the concert drew to a close, the fountains turned multi-coloured and danced higher in the sky as the impressive fireworks started to go off over the crowds heads in time to the music.

A packed crowd wait for the music to begin

Everyone left the gig with big smiles on their faces and a warm glow in their patriotic hearts.

Pensioner June Woods from Rochester, said: "It was an amazing night, the performers were outstanding and the fireworks just finished the night of in spectacular fashion."

The Under Siege concert is being held in the Castle Gardens this afternoon from 1pm. It features the best young musicians in Medway and admission is free.

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