Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Imagine over three hundred and fifty years of music brought together and performed on stage. A musical mix that’s sophisticated, classic, hip, and everything in between.
Classical music meets pop. A tradition for over 30 years, it happens at the magical event: “Night of the Proms” (NOTP), the biggest indoor event in Europe.
Here’s the backdrop:
You have a gorgeous, I mean gorgeous, Brazilian Maestra –Alexandra Arrieche–orchestrating. With her arms in the air and her baton in hand, she passionately directs the international seventy-two members of the Antwerp (Belgium) Philharmonic Orchestra. In the mix are five soulful musicians known as NOTP Backbone, bringing in percussion, keyboards, drums, bass and guitar. The background vocalists, the Pretty Vanillas, who hail from Holland, and the twenty-four members of the Belgian symphony choir, Fine Fleur, sing, sing, sing!
And then, of course, for such an event, you’ve got to have some star soloists. How about Peter Cetera? Yes, THAT Peter Cetera–the singer, songwriter and bassist of the legendary rock band Chicago, singing some of Chicago’s greatest hits, like, “If You Leave Me Now” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”. Oh my gosh, I remember going to Chicago concerts in high school!
Roger Hudson–the singer songwriter from Supertramp! How many of us didn’t sing along to “Give a Little Bit”, “Take the Long Way Home” and of course, “Dreamer” which he dedicated to the brainchild of NOTP Jan Vereecke. Rogers songs wouldn’t have been complete without the sweet and sultry sax and harmonica contributions from Michael Ghegan.
How about we add some spice to the mix with former Spice Girl, Melanie C? During her solo career, she’s given us, just to name a few, “Never Be the Same Again”, “I Turn to You”, and “First Day of My Life”.
There’s no way we can’t have some reggae, dancehall and hiphop in the review, so how about we have Culcha Candela setting the party mood with a few of their hits like, “Hamma!”, “Monster” and “Berlin City Girl”. These four musicians from Berlin had the audience dancing, singing along and high-fiving each other!
British rock music vocalist, songwriter and musician John Miles has been with the show since it began and is now considered to be an institution with Night of the Proms. His song, Music (Was My First Love) published in 1976, in part with these lyrics: “Music was my first love and it will be my last. Music of the future and music of the past” is truly the anthem of NOTP. With forty years of live music experience, he brings an invaluable input to the show.
And then, for such a great evening, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find a sixteen year old pianist who sings, composes, arranges film scores, and plays the piano like you’ve never seen before. I repeat: like you’ve never seen before! She’s simply brilliant. Her name is Emily Bear. Included in her repertoire for NOTP were her interpretations of the songs: La La Land, Skyfall and Crazy.
And then, midstream of her performance, in which she’s smiling all the while her hands are flying across the piano keys, (her enjoyment is infectious!), she does something really special.
NOTP moderator and all around nice guy, Markus Othmer interviews a guest in the audience who shares a story. Then, Emily composes and plays her piano interpretation of the story–right then and there. On the spot. I saw her do this at the Friday night and the Saturday night shows. At the Friday night concert, I had the ABSOLUTE THRILL of sharing my story, Einen Herzschlag entfernt, (Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story). Emily had no idea that it would be the soundtrack to my and my son Marc’s life she would be setting to music. You can see the video here: https://youtu.be/Jv7Y188JhDw
I’m so thankful it was caught on film–thank you to Markus Othmer for this video clip! I will treasure this moment forever.
Emily’s further contribution to NOTP were the songs, Bumble Bear Boogie, All By Myself, School, and her participation with all of the great artists in the Finale.
What a night(s)! The Maestra conducted, the singers sang, the musicians played their instruments all to the absolute delight of the audience in the sold out (both evenings) LANXESS arena in Cologne.
One more thing I observed and found to be quite fascinating was the vast age difference of the people in the audiences, which in turn reflected the age difference between the performers. With Emily Bear being the youngest performer (and the youngest solo artist ever to perform in NOTP, I might add), there was an age span of sixty years gracing the stage in the arena. It was in a word, amazing.
A night I’ll never forget.
The last two dates of this tour will be in Mannheim (Friday, 21.12. 2017) and Dortmund, Germany (Saturday 22.12. 2017). If you’re nearby and lucky enough get a ticket, do so! If you miss out, next year is coming–but be sure to reserve your tickets early enough–forty thousand tickets have already been sold!
Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story–Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Incompatible-Nature-Tracie-Frank-Mayer/dp/1537201298
Einen Herzschlag entfernt–Amazon link: https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/3775158057