Joining a mass choir of over 2000 children and practising since May, thirty pupils from Year 4 through to Year 7 from Holy Trinity School in Kidderminster will perform at the National Children’s WW1 Centenary Concert on Saturday 3rd November at the Genting Arena, NEC, Birmingham.
Performing in the first ever National Children’s Remembrance Concert, children from across England and Wales will come together to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice to end the first World War.
Supported by two youth orchestras, the concert will include a debut performance by the National Youth Pipe Band of England and the Sandwell Youth Brass Band, a Welsh Primary School Choir and the Leicester Show Choir, and featuring performers from Norfolk, Dorset, Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield, with a parade of 57 flags representing and paying tribute to the many nations and peoples involved in World War 1 (WW1).
Holy Trinity School music teacher, Mrs Sarah Roberts commented: “I have been amazed at how the children have embraced the old songs. I thought they might consider them a bit old-fashioned, but to the contrary, they love them – the good old favourites like ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag’ and ‘Keep the home fires burning’ – with parents and grandparents attending, many of whom I’m sure will remember them well.
“I’ve been teaching the children a little about the history of WW1, how the public were led to believe the war would only last 2 weeks and how the initial feeling of jubilation and pride in fighting for one’s country soon descended into desperation and misery as the true death toll became apparent.
“The children have been so receptive to this learning and absorbed it all like sponges, the songs of course making it all come alive for them. It is so important that they understand it is only by luck that they have been born in a time of comparative peace. If they had been born in earlier times it could have been them, their brothers or their fathers going to war.”
Sidney Lewis was the country’s youngest WW1 Soldier and a 12-year-old boy when he enlisted in the army and who at 13 years old fought at Battle of the Somme. Invited as special guests and attending the concert will be his son, 85-year-old Colin Lewis who will be joined by his two sons. It is hoped that an audience of up to ten thousand people will attend and show their support for this unique remembrance event.
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, the Minister for Faith and Integration, commented: “I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than bringing together thousands of children from across the country to remember those who died in the First World War through music and song.
“I firmly believe that young children should play an active role in WW1 Centenary Commemorations. This is crucial both in enhancing their awareness of the tragedy of war and in carrying forward the collective memory and gratitude to future generations.”
For further details and ticket information please visit: www.lestweforgetconcert.org
The concert is supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, The Big Lottery, Services For Education, Arts Council England and the Associated Board of the
Royal School of Music.