200 choir members to perform under one magnificent roof

we will remember poster

Audiences will be given the unique opportunity to see Tamworth’s choirs performing together under one magnificent roof in a special concert of remembrance this November to mark the centenary of World War One.

Almost 200 choir members will take part in We Will Remember at St Editha’s Church on November 12, together with a talented young singer and Staffordshire’s first ever Poet Laureate. As well as commemorating the centenary, the event will also raise money towards the repair of the clock on St Editha’s Church.

The concert will feature the premier of a brand new piece of music called ‘War Child’ about the struggles of evacuees throughout the century, which has been written and composed especially for the event by Sophy Smith, who wrote the original score for last year’s outdoor production of Tigress.

‘War Child’ will be performed by Tamworth Voices, Tamworth Male Voice Choir, Tamworth Ladies Choir, Tamworth Arts Club and Flax Hill Junior School.
Other performers lined up for the evening include the William MacGregor Primary School Choir, talented local singer Matilda Pratt and Staffordshire’s first Poet Laureate, Mal Dewhirst, who has written a new commemorative poem for the occasion.

In addition to the original piece of music, audiences will be treated to a variety of songs from the past including Keep the Home Fires Burning, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Pack up Your Troubles and Over the Rainbow.

We Will Remember is one of the first projects being delivered by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team as part of the new Tamworth Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative, which has been made possible by a £68,000 grant from Arts Council England, with match funding by the borough council and the community.

The two-year project will see art in all its forms popping up in unusual spaces across the borough in a bid to create and nurture new audiences ready to bring back to Tamworth Assembly Rooms, which is currently undergoing major redevelopment work.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “We Will Remember promises to be a wonderful and poignant commemoration to the men and women who have lost their lives fighting for their country. It also gives people the unique opportunity to see the town’s very talented choirs all coming together to perform under the same roof, including the exclusive song written especially for Tamworth.
“I hope people go along to support our choirs, as well as helping to raise much-needed funds for the vital repairs needed on the St Editha’s Church clock, which is a key feature of the town centre.”

Here’s a brief synopsis of the choirs/performers taking part in We Will Remember:

Tamworth Male Voice Choir
The Male Voice Choir has been a major part of the Tamworth arts scene for many years and is looking forward to celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017. It is a traditional choir with more than 50 members who sing for pleasure and to raise money for charity. As a registered charity, the choir has raised thousands of pounds for worthy causes over the years. The choir has been busier than ever this year with a number of engagements.

Tamworth Ladies Choir
The Ladies Choir was formed 28 years ago and has since built up an enviable reputation for high quality singing and a varied repertoire. Tamworth Ladies Choir has also helped raise thousands of pounds for local and national charities through its concerts. Earlier this year, the choir had the pleasure of singing with the Military Wives Choir, Culdrose, during a trip to Falmouth.

Tamworth Voices
This mixed choir puts a contemporary twist on the traditional choir, covering a range of musical styles under the direction of Gladstone Wilson.

The choir formed in 2012 and has performed at a range of venues including Birmingham Symphony Hall, and regularly performs at Tamworth Assembly Rooms. It has more than 100 members, aged 18 to 80, who share a love and enthusiasm for singing.

Flax Hill Junior Academy Choir
This school choir has always enjoyed performing at local events and in recent years has also taken its talents slightly further afield. The school is asked to perform at a variety of events including the Tamworth Christmas Lights switch on, the Staffordshire Headteacher Conference at the County Showground, West Bromwich Town Hall and Frankie and Benny’s restaurant. The school is proud of its choir and the opportunities to perform in front of large audiences, which help to build confidence and encourage more to join. Almost a third of the school’s pupils are in the choir.

William MacGregor Primary School Choir
The William MacGregor choir has been running for more than a year and is made up of talented pupils from years 3 to 6. They meet once a week for rehearsals and enjoy putting their own take on songs from every genre. Many of its members also take part in theatre and dance productions around the Midlands’ region in their spare time.

Tamworth Arts Club
Tamworth Arts Club (TAC) has been performing musical theatre productions for Tamworth audiences since 1966 and is honoured to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The club has a large membership of talented local performers who have a variety of experience in Performing Arts but all have a passion for musical theatre. TAC typically performs two musical productions a year. These range from West End and Broadway musicals to compilation shows and concerts. TAC has performed at Tamworth Assembly Rooms since its first show in 1966, but is currently presenting shows at Landau Forte Theatre due to the refurbishment. The club has been nominated for Regional Best Production by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016.

Matilda Pratt
Matilda is a 14-year-old singer/songwriter from Tamworth with bags of talent. She released her first single ‘Mistake’ in January this year which charted in the top 20 of the iTunes Singer-Songwriter New Releases Chart. This was followed by her second single ‘Summer Dreams’ in May.

Matilda is a TeenStar and OpenMic UK grand finalist and is a Westfield London Presents Artist. As well as songwriting, Matilda enjoys putting her own twist on covers and releasing videos to her YouTube channel, Matilda Pratt Official.

Mal Dewhirst
Award-winning poet, playwright and filmmaker, Mal is joint artistic director with Fired Up Theatre, whose past productions include The Wall, Quadrophenia and Colin Grazier Enigma, all performed in Tamworth. He is currently working on a tour of his award-winning play Mausoleum; the Emerge Shakespeare Festival in 2017 in Tamworth and film, theatre and poetry projects within the Tame Valley Wetlands. He will compere We Will Remember as well as reading his specially commissioned poem.

We Will Remember takes place on Saturday November 12 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 and £8 concessions and are available at www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk, in person from Tamworth Tourist Information Centre in Marmion House, or from the Box Office on 01827 709618. A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings.

Audiences are invited to take their own alcohol and refreshments as there is no bar available.