The First World War or The Great War as it was known ended 100 years ago when the long-awaited Armistice of Compiegne was eventually signed in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It had been a horrific four year conflict, and was one of the deadliest in history that finally ended with a victory for Great Britain and the Allies, and the complete military defeat of the German Empire. Estimations indicate that more than nine million soldiers and a million civilians died during the Great War. In some instances villages and families lost all their menfolk, and each year since that Armistice we commemorate those victims with a two-minute silence on Remembrance Day.
The Edwin James Festival Choir and Orchestra based in Littlehampton intend to pay their own respects to the fallen in ‘A Time for Remembrance’ concert’ marking the hundred years since Armistice. The concert will be dedicated to all those who lost their lives in conflict while serving our country in World War One, and in every conflict since.
‘A Time for Remembrance’ will be performed at St. James’ Church, East Ham Road, Littlehampton on Saturday, 10th November with doors opening at 2.15pm for a 3pm start. Donations from this concert will be made to Chestnut Tree House, St Barnabas House, St Wilfrid’s Hospice and The Royal British Legion.
Musical Director, James Rushman, commented ‘This is our opportunity to commemorate the end of a terrible conflict, and the millions of lives that were sadly lost in The Great War and every conflict since.’ Rushman went on to say ‘ It is an opportunity for the Edwin James Festival Choir and Orchestra to perform together as a community group to remind local residents in Littlehampton and surrounding villages and towns that generations of our own families were, and have been, affected subsequently. We will be performing orchestral works as well as a special work arranged by Peter Lawson - Music from the Trenches, reciting poems and singing well known songs which I am sure the audience will want to join in with. Lorna Hayes (soprano) and Katharine Horwood (alto) will be performing the ‘Flower Duet’ from ‘ Lakme’ by Leo Delibes. A two minute silence will be observed.
The Edwin James Festival Choir meet every Wednesday at 7.30pm for rehearsal and newcomers are welcome to join the Christmas rehearsals which have just started. The next concert will be ‘Winter Wonderland’ with an all glitz and glamour theme to be performed on Friday, 14th December at 7.30pm and Saturday, 15th December at 3pm.
Under the direction of Chris Allen and James Rushman, the choir have turned their attention to supporting and running St James’ Church and Hall as a Community Hub following the closure of the church and no further services being held. Coffee and Chatter mornings with delicious cakes available are held every Friday in the hall from 10.30am to 12noon and everyone is welcome. Bookings for the church and hall can be made on 01243 582330.
Information submitted by Madeleine Wadley for the Edwin James Festival Choir and Orchestra
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