More than sixty choirs from across Britain and abroad have joined together to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War by releasing a special commemorative album called 'Remember.'
Singers and musicians pay tribute to the country’s women who raised children alone, nursed, and worked tirelessly despite the loss of husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and friends during the conflict 100 years ago.
The lead track from the unique record, ‘The Poppy Red’, is an original composition by the award-winning composer Owain Park, and is inspired by the 1918 poem ‘We Shall Keep The Faith.’
The song sees 1,105 voices perform with The Band of the Household Cavalry. Conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton, and produced by Sean Hargreaves and John Haywood, the song is a perfect introduction to the project's themes of commemoration, remembrance, patriotism and military life.
The Military Wives Choirs is a registered charity working in conjunction with SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity.
They celebrate diversity in their network as choirs contain military wives, female serving personnel, veterans, mothers, sisters and daughters, as well as others with a military connection.
A total of 1,105 singers from 69 choirs, including 93 singers from overseas choirs, took part in seven recording sessions across the UK.
The Choirs’ first album ‘In My Dreams’ featured five choirs, the second album ‘Stronger Together’ had 24 choirs and 760 singers, and the third album ‘Home for Christmas’ featured 65 choirs and 1,006 singers, a growth that underlines the importance of the solidarity and strength of the network.
Sian-Adi Colbeck from Dishforth Military Wives Choir told Forces Radio BFBS Catterick's Chris Kaye it's a strange feeling being a recording artist:
"It's crazy. I can't wait to buy it and see my name on the back of it."
Sian added: "It was brilliant. Extremely hard work to make sure we all got it on point just at the right time. But it was definitely worth it for the end result."
The choir's PR coordinator summed up the project by saying:
"The women of 100 years ago were exactly the same as we are now. proud, adaptable, capable and supportive."
She continued "we owe it to our ancestors to commemorate what they did for us to have the freedom that we do have today."
Music for the album centres on five original songs by prestigious composers from the worlds of classical, pop and film music.
In addition to Owain Park, Joanna Forbes L’Estrange & Alexander L’Estrange, Adam Langston, James Kennedy & Catrin Southall, Adam Langston, Sean Hargreaves, John Haywood and Laura Wright have written original songs inspired by the thoughts, feelings and direct words of choir members.
The collection includes music from ages past and present, referencing upbeat First World War marching songs, iconic regimental and service marches, beautifully contemplative remembrance pieces and contemporary songs reflecting the choirs’ world, all with a fresh take through creative arrangements and collaboration with world-class military musicians, specifically The Band of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Marines Corps of Drums.