21st Apr, 2018

Choral suite in Redditch is set to mark Great War

FECKENHAM is to mark Armistice Day with an ambitious 70 voice choral work ‘Suite for the Fallen Soldier’ next Friday and Saturday.

The sell-out world premiere, 14 months in the making, is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Music is by from the award winning composer Phil Mountford who was commisisoned by the Feckenham World War 1 Commemoration Group to write a suite of music marking the Great War.

Working with poet and local historian Kathy Gee, who wrote the spoken narrative, the Suite combines a series of vivid experiences portrayed in music and letters between a soldier and his family.

It tells the story from his enlistment to his death and the effect this has on his loved ones and his community.

“While many villages are commemorating WW1, this project is probably unique, both in commissioning a choral piece of this scale, and in the extraordinary engagement of the local community,” said commemoration group chairman Jeff Matthews.

“Enabled by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, more than 100 people from the village and surrounding area have been drawn in, from ages eight to 80.

“In addition to the singers from five local choirs and five readers,more than 30 more have given their time planning, preparing and building – all the detailed logistics that underpin performance.”

The composer Phil Mountford added: “This was an extremely humbling project, confronting human emotion and loss, with horrific scenes alongside the universal emotion of love.

“My immense gratitude goes to the community choirs for being so positive and receptive. I’m very proud of what they have achieved which allowed me further to increase

the level of complexity once the choir realised what they were capable of.”

Full performance of the work ‘Suite for the fallen soldier’, world premiere of a piece by Phil Mountford, will take place on November 11-12 in Feckenham Church.

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