Ten Pieces Prom II: Secondary schoolchildren, Wagner and a world champion turntablist

The culmination of a year-long initiative to get pupils interested in classical music combined Ride of the Valkyries with dance, video and poignant moments


The Ten Pieces initiative continues with another eclectic mix aimed to get schoolkids hooked on classics.


A tough ask, you may think, but by piquing their interest with a variety of techniques (dance, video, the skills of world champion DJ Mr Switch, plus the power of the BBC Philharmonic), they just might get their audience leaving humming the odd bit of Wagner.

The latter’s Ride of the Valkyries provided the bombastic climax to the event, with the titular warrior goddesses descending down the stairways armed with illuminated bows. But, for me (and my 12-year-old son), it was the quieter moments that resonated the most: Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Lark Ascending (with violinist Esther Yoo) juxtaposed with soldiers’ accounts of the First World War, for instance, which left many ears tearing up.


Members of the Ten Pieces Children’s Choir perform at the Ten Pieces Prom

Threaded through the event are contributions from secondary schools that were asked to respond creatively to each of the classical works – and you can’t help but admire the guts of those called upon to perform in front of a packed Albert Hall. Special shout out to the Animate Orchestra, for whom big things must surely beckon.

For those who missed today’s performance, there’s a second opportunity to see the playlist tomorrow (Sunday 24 July) at 4pm.

And even though the remit of this year’s event has been widened to attract those of 11 years and up, primary-aged children used to CBBC will still get a kick from the show, particularly with Naomi Wilkinson (of Live ‘n’ Deadly and Marrying Mum and Dad) there to guide us through the set and a Horrible Histories-style Haydn interjecting from the sidelines. Able support comes from Lemn Sissay and, yes, that is former England footballer Dion Dublin joining in the fun.

Win tickets to the John Wilson PromWilson and his orchestra are among the Proms’ sell out stars. We have two tickets to give away to his concert on Saturday August 13 celebrating the music of George and Ira Gershwin. Click here to enter


Radio Times Travel offer

Andrea Bocelli at the O2, from £85pp including return coach travel. Don’t miss your chance to see Andrea Bocelli perform at a very special UK concert at The O2 Arena, London this autumn. It promises to be an evening of timeless music, love songs and the best-loved music from the movies. Read more and book.