Military voices singing for the centenary

Voices from the military community are joining with the Bach Choir to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Members of the Armed Forces family, past and present, will perform the song, ‘A Shared Singing’ at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall next September (2014), as part of Unfinished Remembering, a new choral symphony.

The words are from a poem by Euan Tait and have been set to music by Paul Spicer, the conductor of the Birmingham Bach Choir, and dedicated to The Royal British Legion.

The choir is a brand new initiative by The Royal British Legion and Birmingham’s Bach Choir who have formed a choir that is open to all service personnel, reservists, cadets, veterans and their families over 16. This has been made possible by grants from the Mayor’s Fund and the Army Community Covenant Fund and will further develop the links between the military and civilian communities in and around the region.

After the first workshop held in mid-October the choir will be meeting again on Saturday 16 November 2013 and then every month, at 2.30pm-5pm at King Edwards Girls’ School, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham. All who are interested in joining the choir are encouraged to come and find their voice. Paul Spicer, the conductor of Birmingham’s Bach Choir and the composer of ‘A Shared Singing’ will lead this session. Everyone linked to the military community is welcome to join this new group who will be developing their talents alongside the singers from the Bach Choir.

The afternoon session will include some vocal training, a first look at the new song and an early run through of favourite Christmas Carols.

Antony Baines, Assistant Director Operations Midlands, The Royal British Legion said: “It is a great opportunity for our wider military community to be a significant part of the First World War commemorations in the City. The Legion is the national custodian of Remembrance so to have backing from Birmingham City
Council and the Army for this project gives us the confidence to know that the Choir will be a success.”

Kate Crocker from the Bach Choir and driving force behind the project said: “Linking Birmingham Bach Choir to a new military community choir is such a positive way to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. Performing the new choral symphony ‘Unfinished Remembering’ at the Birmingham Symphony Hall, with our military colleagues joining us for the new anthem, will be very special.”

“We are looking for more recruits! Singers of all abilities are welcome – we all help each other. It is not necessary to be able to read music. The plan is to develop the choir with a series of workshops and rehearsals, singing with a variety of choirs across the city and experiencing different musical styles. Once established and independent, the new choir will develop its own personality, adding to the vibrant musical life of Birmingham and the Midlands.”

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