North Walsham

Debut performance for WW1 songs

Just Regional
Oct 20, 2014 3 mins read

A village choir has received a £1,500 grant to commission and perform original pieces of choral music to commemorate the Great War.

The grant was awarded to The Choir Worstead by John Lewis through its Music Matters scheme, which supports groups which make an outstanding contribution to their local community through music.

The choir applied for the money to organise a concert to mark the centenary of the start of the first world war as it wanted to include new songs commissioned by the group from local composer Tony Bailey.

Helen Kelly, secretary for the choir, who received the cheque from John Lewis, said: “Receiving this generous donation will help us to continue the exciting work we do with music within the local community. This money will really help us in a project which will not only involve the village’s adult choir but also singers from the local primary school.”

The concert Home for Christmas, will be held at Worstead Village Hall on Saturday, November 15, 7pm. The concert will be in three parts, the first a selection of music hall songs, followed by Tony’s compositions and the third section a chance for the audience to join in with well-known wartime sing-alongs.

Profits from the £5 ticket price will go towards the charity Walking with the Wounded and Worstead School Friends will be selling refreshments for school funds.

Alison Rowland, community liaison coordinator at John Lewis Norwich, said: “To see how our support made a difference to last year’s successful applicants was fantastic. We are delighted to once again support locals who are passionate about music through our Music Matters scheme.”

The annual scheme is an opportunity for community-based musical projects and organisations to benefit from Partnership donations of between £500 and £3,000, applying through local John Lewis and Waitrose.

Tony, who taught for 29 years at Falcon Middle School, where he had a recorder marching band (possibly unique) and frequently took groups of young musicians to the Youth Proms, has written a mix of songs for the concert to include the adult and young singers.

Beverley said: “The children are very excited about the thought that this piece has been written especially for them and they all have different favourite songs from the selection.

Putting the programme together I have tried to give a ’snapshot’ of life at the time war was declared using songs of that period, Music Hall, Propoganda and Romantic.”

Helen Kelly receiving the cheque from John Lewis

Helen Kelly receiving the cheque from John Lewis

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