On November 10th Colchester’s world music community choir, Quire, will present Pack Up Your Troubles, a concert commemorating the centenary of the end of World War One and featuring music and verse from Britain, France, Holland, Ireland, Germany and Russia that reflects the triumph of the human spirit.

The 40 strong group from in and around the Colchester area will sing songs sung in the trenches as well as the work of women in the war. The evening will include familiar songs such as Stille Nacht (Silent Night) and Red Flag – originally sung to the tune of the German carol O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree). Only Remembered, that featured recently in the production War Horse, was written in the 1890’s and is widely used in remembrance to those who fell in the Great War. Providing a contrast will be a selection of songs sung in the Music Halls of the era. Audience participation will be encouraged and there’ll be the opportunity to sing along with It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Keep the Home Fires Burning and Pack Up Your Troubles.

As we reflect on the end of “The war to end all wars” as the Great War was often described, the programme will go beyond World War One to include a selection of songs from more recent wars and conflicts reflecting the ‘international’ nature of Quire’s repertoire. Yo Te Nombro, Libertad (I cry out for liberty) from Chile tells of those detained during the Pinochet regime while March of the Beloved recalls the struggle of South Koreans for democracy and human rights and the Kwangju massacre of May 1980.

The programme has been put together by Quire’s Musical Director Bill Tamblyn. Bill commented “My father fought in WW1. He returned wounded and traumatised. But he also had tremendous resilience, borne of his experience, and of course, he had a fund of stories. It is the inspiration this man gave me, and the imagination of his stories that led me to create this programme, as a tribute to men and women like him who gave so much for their country at that time.”

Pack Up Your Troubles will be presented at Peldon and the Wigboroughs Community Hall, Church Road, Peldon, CO5 7PT. Tickets are £10 and available from the Quire website: www.quire.org or by calling 01206 735770.

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