Two of our own choirs Wokingham & Bracknell Community Choirs formed the basis of the singers.
To supplement the choir, we recruited using the same ethos that exists for all of the singhealthy choirs. We wanted this to be a community based project and there were no auditions for singers.
Having said that, we also wanted this to be a positive performance/experience and as ever, we will always be the best we can be.
The Berkshire Youth Orchestra (Berkshire Maestros)
The Berkshire Youth Orchestra offers orchestral experience to the top players in the county. Players are drawn from all parts of Berkshire and rehearse for short courses throughout the year. They have an excellent reputation, gaining ‘Outstanding Performance’ awards on several occasions at the National Festival of Music for Youth and playing twice in the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. From my personal point of view it is wonderful that we managed to secure the BYO as they were always my first choice for this project. I was excited at the prospect of working with them.
The Coombes Church of England Junior School, Arborfield
Whilst not performing at the concert, the work produced by the children of the school formed part of the evenings displays. They produced a large frieze showing conflicts from 1066 to the present day and wrote poems and other pieces that were displayed in the venue foyer. Additionally, I asked them to design both the programme cover and tickets for the concert. The school did study WW1 and as the following year was to be the 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict they already had a special programme in mind. They are very much linked to the Arborfield Garrison so that is another link to recent conflicts as a number of children have parents who have served in the Gulf and Afghanistan. The head teacher and other staff members showed a real enthusiasm and a belief that participating in this project enhanced the children’s education.