Public to star in Last Night of the Proms via 'virtual orchestra' clips


The Last Night of the Proms takes place tonight, featuring a "virtual orchestra" and the prospect of hundreds of EU flags being waved following an online campaign to show "solidarity" with Europe.

The orchestra will feature 1,200 music lovers who uploaded video clips of themselves playing the Toreador Song, a three-minute piece from Bizet's opera Carmen, after the BBC invited people to take part.

It has edited all the videos into a performance which will be screened at Proms in the Park events from 5pm in London, Glasgow, Colywn Bay and Belfast.

Flag waving at the Last Night of the Proms (Guy Bell/PA)
Flag waving at the Last Night of the Proms (Guy Bell/PA)

The Last Night of the Proms could also see audience members handed EU flags at London's Royal Albert Hall as the event takes place almost three months after Britain voted to leave the EU.

A crowdfunding page has raised more than £1,100 to buy the flags, with the annual musical event apparently chosen as it is "televised and has a very high profile".

An organiser wrote: "As music is such an international activity that benefits greatly from our membership of the EU this event feels an appropriate venue to show UK solidarity with the EU."

They added: "Concert goers waving EU flags along with the Union Jack would send a message to the world and our own people about how much music lovers value the EU."

Comedian David Baddiel, an amateur pianist and ambassador for the virtual orchestra project, is among those who uploaded a performance.

David Baddiel ( Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
David Baddiel ( Yui Mok/PA)

The One Show's Angellica Bell plays cello, Radio 4 presenter Reverend Richard Coles shows off his talents on the organ, while Proms director David Pickard plays the kazoo.

Jessica Isaacs, a spokeswoman for BBC Music, said: "We have had a huge range of ages and abilities joining in, which is exactly what we wanted. We are delighted at the vast choice of instruments people used - from banjos to bagpipes, horns to harmonicas and tambourines to tubas."

Angellica Bell (Matt Crossick/PA)
Angellica Bell (Matt Crossick/PA)

Conductor Marin Alsop was filmed especially for the website to ensure everyone stayed in time as they uploaded their performances.

The BBC Virtual Orchestra film will be live from 3pm today on BBC iPlayer and on

An excerpt of the film will also be shown on BBC2 as part of the Last Night coverage which starts at 7.15pm.