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Pupils prepare for sold out World War One centenary performance at St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Hundreds of pupils have been busy rehearsing for a sold out performance to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

Singers, dancers and actors at King Edward VI School will join 202 children from 11 Bury Schools Partnership schools in Crimson Glory at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Sunday, November 4.

Through music, drama, dance, art and video, Crimson Glory depicts the life-journey of a young soldier from farming the fields of Suffolk to the battlefields of the Somme while exploring his questions about Christian faith in the face of war.

Rehearsal of Crimson Glory at King Edward VI School, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Westley.
Rehearsal of Crimson Glory at King Edward VI School, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Westley.

Kate Brown, lead CALSA (Cultural and Arts Leaders in Schools and Academies) and head of visual arts at King Edward VI, has masterminded the Bury Schools Partnership involvement.

She said: “The sheer number of children involved, along with the willingness of CALSAs and teachers from Bury Schools Partnership schools to give their time to the Crimson Glory project, speaks volumes about the place the centenary of the end of the Great War holds in our hearts.”

More than 1,000 children have taken part in the project as a whole with pupils creating artwork, which is displayed in the cathedral cloisters.

Joining the King Edward VI performers are St Edmundsbury Cathedral Choir, the Cantus Firmus Choir and a professional orchestra.

The project is being led by Richard Hubbard, the cathedral’s music development director, working in partnership with Cantus Firmus Trust and Woodbridge-based script-writer Neil Clayton.

The music includes movements from John Rutter’s Requiem, works by Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, who was killed in the Great War; Mendelssohn, Elgar, John Bell, and World War One songs such as Pack Up Your Troubles.

Thomas Hawkes, cathedral organ scholar and King Edward VI’s musician in residence, was commissioned to write an organ composition which will be danced to by King Edward VI dancers.

  • For more pictures, see today's Bury Free Press newspaper.

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