Marking the centenary of the 1918 Armistice with a project that took place on 10 Oct 2018, at St Mary's Church Nottingham

For this project students from Wadsworth Fields and Leen Mills Primary schools worked with award winning composer James Redwood  and musicians from Sinfonia Viva for several months, to write and rehearse new songs on the theme of the Great War, to be accompanied live by the orchestra.

They wrote song lyrics, melody lines and arrangements, and led the creative process - influenced by the poems of Wilfred Owen, and Britten’s wonderful ‘War Requiem.’ Alongside these sessions, the students worked with world-renowned conductor David Lawrence, learning three songs written on previous education projects and commissions. Meanwhile, students from Morven Park Primary School were set the task of creating new poems, outlining key themes and moments from the local story of the Great War. These were performed, alongside some of Owen’s most evocative works, by Paul Broesmith and Ben Adwick from Lost Boys Theatre Company.

In addition to this, we asked students, teachers and musicians to provide photos, memories and poems to honour family members who fought in the Great War. This culminated in a powerful moment, where young people spoke to the audience about their loved ones and their involvement in World War One. 

Schools across Nottinghamshire have also had the opportunity to get hands on with Great War artefacts, through the specially curated ‘Fanny Taylor Crates’. Distributed by the Manuscripts and Special Collections at University of Nottingham Library, this crate tells the story of Fanny Taylor, who worked in the Chilwell munitions factory. She was one of 4,000 other women dubbed ‘canary girls’, after exposure to TNT left their skin yellow with jaundice. At just 21 years old, she was one of the 134 workers killed when eight tons of TNT exploded at the National Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell on 1st July 1918.

Around the church, sets of perspex silhouettes of the famous ‘Tommy’, created by the charity Remembered, as part of the ‘There But Not There’ project were placed. Remembered's project acted as a national exhibition, inspiring communities to take part in hosting installations of remembrance in their local area. Seated silhouettes represented each name on a Memorial Wall, whilst 6ft figures could be seen around the country as tokens of remembrance.

Download concert programme