FOLLOWING the recent report on the final night of the proms, the Messenger has received two comments.

Heather Bills, an Australian cellist with the Pleyel ensemble and a freelance orchestral player, said she has played for Last nights of the Proms all over the world including the QM2 en route to New York.

She had only heard a bit of the rearranged Jerusalem and thought they should either have stuck to Parry’s version or come up with an entirely new version.

She said: “This needs to be looked at from different perspectives as this programme is of historic interest but also needs to feel appropriate to modern Britain.”

She had been aware of a grumbling in musicians’ band rooms about the sentiments being sung.

“There have definitely been moves previously to try and change the last night programme but, as with last week’s concert, the pressures from the powers that be have been and remain too great,

“I was saddened to hear that, once again, the BBC had felt it had to bow to what was deemed the popular vote instead of being a flagship organisation leading a change for the better.,” she said.

Heather thinks it would be a good idea to keep the music as it is with its ability to stir emotion and passion and perhaps hold a competition to re-write the words

She said: “After all the music itself is not racist or imperialist. It’s just music.”

Martin Toal, a tenor who arranges an annual Last Night of the Proms at the Garrick and gave his views in the original report, said “I thought the proms finale was great and true to the tradition.

“I actually quite liked the fact that Jerusalem was accompanied by organ as it sounded more like a hymn, which is fitting with all that’s gone on with Covid 19 and the large number of untimely deaths.”

He has performed his own version of the hymn which he recorded during lockdown. It is aimed at the elderly and sick isolating at home and in care homes. Martin has sent a link for Messenger readers.

The link is:

A Manchester theatre has announced plans to present two live Christmas shows in November and December.

The Lowry on Salford Quays will offer theatregoers the choice of the international smash hit musical SIX (27 November 2020– 10 January 2021) and family favourite The Gruffalo (12 December 2020 – 10 January 2021).

All tickets will be available from:

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