Bootle born Jean Taylor will reminisce about VE Day and how she played the piano until 3.00am among the ruins of Bootle at the forthcoming VE Gala Celebration and commemoration concert at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall at 7.15pm on Sunday 27th September 2015, compèred by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips.
Jean now resides in Hoylake and is active in the West Kirby Light Opera Society, but at the outbreak of the Second World War, Jean was a young girl terrified that the Germans would come down her street any minute! In May 1941, bombs rained down on Liverpool for eight successive nights, with the intent to destroy the port areas around Bootle. Nearly 1800 Merseysiders were killed and over 1000 injured. More than 90,000 homes were destroyed or damaged and 75,000 people were left homeless. Bootle, where Jean lived was flattened and as a result, Jean did not attend school for 18 months. At the end of the war, to celebrate VE day, Jean, now a young teenager, played the piano for everyone in the street and did not stop until 3.00am in the morning. Later, Jean continued her musical career as the Liverpool Grand Opera Company’s principal soprano for many years, singing at the Liverpool Empire and the Royal Court Theatre.
You can hear more of Jean’s (and others’) remarkable reminiscences at the Liverpool Phil alongside the legendary Liverpool Welsh Choral, the great theatre company and chorus of the West Kirby Light Opera Society and the magnificent Northop Silver Band. Also appearing is Liverpool sensation, 22-year old George Gallagher who performs some of Frank Sinatra’s best loved numbers.
This fabulous line-up will bring you the very best of war-time music and entertainment with a spectacular finale, taking you back to the joy that filled the nation on VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) after 6 years of war. Members of the audience are encouraged to dress in 1940’s outfits, military dress, medals and bring flags!
The VE Gala Celebration Concert is presented by RGC Concert Promotions which organises and promotes fund raising concerts and events on behalf of charities http://www.rgcconcertpromotions.com/