There was an air of eager anticipation in the packed school hall as the massed choirs sang together ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ and opened the concert with a fantastic atmosphere and sense of community spirit.
Chesterton Primary School Choir took to the stage with ‘Doing Our Bit for the Nation’ and then ‘Last Kiss Goodbye’. All pupils sang their hearts out in a very moving performance.
Up next was a performance of a specially commissioned award winning song based on the war experiences of the Staffordshire Regiment through the eyes of a young soldier - 'Private Albert Timpson'. This fabulous piece was performed by the CCSC senior choir accompanied by Iestyn Morgan (Year 11) on guitar.
The Year 9 dancers were the next to perform their own choreographed piece to ‘In Memory of Harry Patch’. The dancers, new to the GCSE course, performed confidently and elegantly keeping the emotional mood of the concert’s theme.
St Chads C E School then performed a dramatic interpretation of ‘This is War’ using words and movement in time to the lyrics and beat of the song. The emotional performance left the audience mesmerised by the confidence and emotion of the performers. This was followed by a heartfelt rendition of ‘Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream’.
Crackley Bank took to the stage with their delightful version of ‘Once We Were Kings’. The choreographed piece was outstanding and the audience once again erupted in applause.
CCSC Junior Choir continued the evening with ‘John Condon’. The Key Stage 3 pupils were so confident in their first ever performance on the CCSC stage.
Churchfields Primary were the last of the primaries to proudly sing in honour of their country. They started with ‘Women at War’ followed by ‘Land Fit for Heroes’. The hard work and rehearsing paid off with an excellent performance and strong vocals.
All the primary choir performances were excellent and the children were a real credit to their schools and parents.
Junior students from CCSC performed literary readings of ‘MCMXIV’ by Philip Larkin, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen, a reading entitled ‘The Last to Fall’, ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae and ‘To Germany’ by Charles Hamilton Sorley. The pupils were Jess Bowen (Year 8), Thea Sherlock Hammond (Year 8), Eva Goode (Year 8), Jessie Eardley (Year 8), Hannah Chuter (Year 8). We are very proud of each and every one of them!
The concert items were interspersed with speeches from 'Testament of Youth', the war memoirs of local writer Vera Brittain who was born in Newcastle. These were performed by Year 11 student Kate Stanier, in character as the nurse, and Year 10 Ben Stockton as her soldier fiancé.
The evening concluded with a rousing performance of wartime favourites; 'It's A Long Way To Tipperary' and 'Pack Up Your Troubles' by the massed choirs of Churchfields Primary, Chesterton Primary, Crackley Bank Primary, St Chad's Primary and CCSC. The musical items were directed by Head of Performing Arts, Ms K Flavell.
Mrs S Waterhouse Deputy Headteacher, said: "The concert was wonderful, striking just the right note and the high school and primary schools really came together as a community. It is always so moving to see the children perform together in this way. We look forward to the next one!”
A gallery of photographs from the Remembrance Concert can be seen below. Please click on an image to enlarge it.