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Members of the Cambridgeshire Youth Wind Orchestra have been praised for a “wonderful” and “stirring” concert which they gave in Chatteris as part of this year’s events marking the end of the First World War.
The concert took place in Chatteris Parish Church on 3 November in the build-up to the nationwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice.
To ensure that it was open to all in the community, the event was completely free. A retiring collection on the day, however, also helped to raise more than £300 for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, which supports the Armed Forces community of serving men and women, veterans, and their families.
The powerful, at times poignant performance, which combined music from the wartime era with more recent works inspired by the conflict, left an appreciative audience deeply moved. “This wonderful music, so reminiscent of Remembrance Day mornings at the Cenotaph in London, brought the audience to silence and stillness in memory of so many lost since the First World War,” one attendee wrote.
The County Youth Wind Orchestra is the pinnacle of Cambridgeshire Music’s range of wind, brass and percussion ensembles and is for advanced musicians who have attained the equivalent of Grade 5 on their chosen instrument. Building on their more regular work with specialist, sectional ensembles, the Orchestra’s members meet for intensive rehearsals once a term to prepare a special, one-off performance.
In recent years, the Orchestra has formed a partnership with the Corps of Army Music, which made a First World War commemoration a natural choice for its concert this term. The young musicians were conducted by members of the Band of the Parachute Regiment and played a challenging repertoire which included the Dambusters March, Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite and Elgar’s Nimrod, among other works.
Orchestra Manager Helen Allen said: “We really wanted to do a Remembrance concert for a community where people could not easily access the events taking place in centres like Cambridge and Ely. Chatteris has a memorial to George William Burdett Clare, a soldier from St Ives, who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. It also has a strong British Legion connection, so it seemed a really good place to hold a community concert focusing on the music of that time.”
More information about the Cambridgeshire Youth Wind Orchestra, as well as other bands and ensembles run by Cambridgeshire Music, may be found here