The Last Post

THE LAST POST TO PLAY ON NEW INSTRUMENTS ACROSS UK IN MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO WW1 GENERATION

Community organisations across the UK are signing up to host events for the Last Post Project this November that will commemorate local First World War stories, play music from the era and see the Last Post played on a variety of different instruments in tribute.

Across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland a diverse range of groups have already signed up for the project and more are being urged to join to unlock local World War One heritage. A selection of Last Post events registered to take place in November include:

London – Leyton Orient FC Supporters Club – November

At half time on the pitch, Leyton Orient FC Supporters Club will play the Last Post in front of 6,000+ fans for former players of Clapton Orient who fought and died during the First World War

Liverpool – Pagoda Arts – 8th November

Pagoda Arts will use traditional Chinese instruments to host a performance and play the Last Post to raise awareness to the local communities that over 100,000 Chinese people served in the First World War

Bristol – Arnos Vale Cemetery & Merchant’s Academy –11th November

To mark the signing of the Armistice on the 11th November 1918, a commemoration ceremony will be held at Arnos Vale Cemetery. The ceremony will be held at the World War 1 memorial where over 300 service men are laid to rest and the Merchants Academy orchestra will play songs from the era and the Last Post on a variety of instruments.

Slough – St. Peter’s Burnham Handbell Society – 15th November

Churches, Clubs, Pubs and Businesses will unite to ring First World War tunes on handbells or bring instruments of their own. WW1 poetry will be recited before a performance of the Last Post from the handbell society.

Suffolk – Music Builds Communities – 8th November

The evening will begin with an Enlistment Re-enactment where people representing all those who served will walk from their 1914 homes to a central point to sign a commemorative enlistment book. A sing-a-long of WWI songs will follow and The Last Post next played on a range of instruments. Between each will be items, including poems, letters from the war and diary entries.

Chepstow, Wales – The Drill Hall – 8th November

A 180 strong community choir will take part in a WW1 Commemoration concert at along with other local artists reading poems and letters from conscientious objectors

Brechin, Scotland – Gardner Memorial – 8th November

The Gardner Memorial Church are planning a huge community singing event entitled ‘Brechin’s Big Big Sing’ which will consist of a selection of WW1 songs, poems and dialogues. They will be inviting as many people as possible to take part including choirs, schools & choral groups as well as those who have never sung in public before to take part in a performance of the Last Post.

Tyrone, Northern Ireland – CRAIC Theatre – 14th November

This theatrical performance will include WW1 poetry, accounts of contemporary letters and music hall songs of the period. The cast comprises 5 amateur actors in period costume and the Last Post will be played by a bugler from a local brass band.

Designed and run by arts organisation Superact with support from the Department for Communities and Local Government, The Last Post project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to roll out the project in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2014. The Department of Culture Arts and Leisure is also supporting the project in NI.

Be it sports clubs or scout groups all types of community organisations are encouraged to get involved with the project and remember the First World War generation with music.

Commenting, Virginia Crompton, Executive Producer of The Last Post said:

“The Last Post project is a unique project and offers a creative opportunity for community groups to commemorate the First World War centenary.

“Whether you are an experienced event organiser or it’s your first time, here at Superact we offer free event toolkits, a Last Post songbook and have a team on hand to help people plan events.”

The Last Post Songbook, which is authored by Bellowhead’s Paul Sartin is part of a range of free resources provided by Superact to support organisations wishing to host an event this November. Including 15 songs from the World War One era, the songbook also includes music arrangements for the Last Post to be played on piano, mandolin, guitar and bagpipes and more.

A number of celebrities have backed the project including Stephen Fry who tweeted his support while TV personalities Hugh Dennis and Ben Elton have posted videos online saying who they will play the Last Post for this November. For Ben Elton, the inspiration was his grandfather Victor, who fought for four years in the German trenches, earning him a German military honour, the Iron Cross. Twenty years later he fled Germany as a Jewish refugee to seek sanctuary in Britain, the country he’d fought during the First World War. The first Last Post tributes are available to view on Superact’s YouTube channel at  http://bit.ly/1zNhn8b

Those wishing to find out more or plan their event can make use of free event resources on the website and register an event online for free to be part of Last Post fortnight this November.

For more information go to The Last Post Project

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