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Talented duo top the bill for Anthems in the Park

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: July 04, 2013

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Britain's Got Talent finalists Jonathan and Charlotte will top the bill when RAF College Cranwell opens its doors to the public and becomes the setting for another Anthems in the Park 2013.

The classical singers will take to the stage at the world's oldest military aviation college with the Band of the Royal Air Force College, the Red Arrows' own mezzo soprano Squadron Leader Ruth Shackleton and the Cranwell Military Wives Choir on Saturday, July 27.

They will be joined by vintage Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, rare archive film footage and Bomber Command veterans to recreate the sights and sounds of Bomber County 70 years ago.

The audience will then be taken forward in time to the present day, as modern RAF aircraft create a dramatic reconstruction of the RAF's current military operations.

Organiser Rachel Huxford, 36, says: "This is the third time the Anthems In The Park event has happened. It takes place every two years so the last one was 2011. That concert was attended by five and a half thousand people and starred Brian May.

"This year's event celebrates Lincolnshire as bomber county, something everyone here is proud of.

"On the day of the concert gates will open at 3pm and people can start enjoying their picnics in the grounds. From 5pm there will be pre-concert entertainment from various music and dance acts culminating in a display from the Red Arrows. People are free to arrive at any time but the evening concert will start around 7pm.

"The first half of the concert will transport the audience back to 1943 with a mixture of live music and archive footage, surviving veterans telling their stories and we will have actors on stage as well. Then we have Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flying over. During the interval the newly formed RAF Cranwell Military Wives Choir will also be singing and the Blades acrobatic team will be in action.

"The second half of the evening will bring things up-to-date, celebrating the RAF in Lincolnshire today with help from a Tornado GR4. The evening will culminate in a 'last night of the proms' sing-a-long with Ruth Shackleton singing all the patriotic favourites like Rule Britannia. And we have Jonathan and Charlotte performing as well."

All proceeds from the event will go to the RAF Benevolent Fund's charitable work.

"I think it is going to be a magical occasion, and the location is somewhere people can't normally go so there's a special feeling about the night," Rachel adds. "And, because people in Lincolnshire are really proud of our RAF, the atmosphere at these events is usually amazing, especially as people know they are supporting RAF veterans, as well as the country's serving personnel and their families, in the process.

"The money raised is going to go to a really broad range of work. We support everyone from children of the RAF when mum or dad are serving, through to providing a mobility scooter for a Second World War veteran or paying for retraining for someone who has lost limbs and had to leave the RAF."

Tickets: Adult £25, children (aged 5-17) £15, under-5s free, family (two adults / two children) £65. To buy tickets call 01689 300005 or visit www.rafbf.org/anthems

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