Posts Tagged ‘Music’

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We will remember them

November 13, 2010

When I was in primary school I was always so moved by the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae;

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

 

I also remember so well being told the story in assembly, during the first world war, how over Christmas the Allied forces and the Germans brought a truce and played football together in no-man’s-land. I love that story. I always wished it hadn’t just been that one day. I wish it would still be now. That we could live in a world of peace and harmony.

Today, I had the privilege of serving at the Royal Albert Hall for the annual Festival of Remembrance with the Queens’ Scout Working Party. For the matinee service, myself and James (with whom I was on the Readers’ team for the National Scout Service of Queen’s Scout at St Georges’ Chapel, Windsor for the Centenary of Scouting in 2007) were wheelchair pushers, which involved meeting the less able people at the security entrances, helping them into a chair and taking them to their seats. It was really great getting to chat with some really incredible people. And helping those who’d got lost back to their coaches at the end!

In the evening, I was on duty in the Grand Tier, ‘selling’ programs. I say ‘selling’ because they were free, but a donation was requested. It was interesting, because many of the boxes are ‘owned’ by certain patrons, who host a select number of guests. And there is A LOT of money on that level! It was interesting to watch how a lot of people who came to the evening performance were there ‘to be seen to be there,’ in contrast with the sincerity of some of those who had been at the matinee.

I was stood about 6 ft away from the box David Cameron, his wife and other important people entered. It felt somewhat surreal! Ed Milliband almost pushed me over as he entered the Grand Tier – I wouldn’t have minded, but it wasn’t as if the corridor was heaving with people at that point (it was empty)! As the service began, Karen and I hung around to wait for the Queen to arrive a few minutes in to the event. A lot of the Royals were there, we counted everyone except William and Harry.

I remember watching the Festival on the television most years with my parents while growing up. I know it’s a very moving occasion. And yet, I still struggled with it’s intensity, of being in the auditorium during the service. Clapping as the Chelsea pensioners and widows etc. entered the arena just doesn’t cut it. This annual festival doesn’t pay for the loss of any person. Nothing we can do or say can ever make up for even a single life lost in conflict, however just or unjust. And that’s what I know some internationals struggle with; Remembrance Day isn’t about endorsing war or conflict, it’s about paying respect to those who have fought and given their lives for the service of others. To enable us, British citizens, to sleep safely in our beds at night.

The famous stanza from For The Fallen (1914) by Laurence Binyon left me holding back the tears.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

 

We will remember them.

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Hallelujah in the shopping Mall

November 8, 2010

Today in our training session, we were told about this:

The organ in Macy’s, the department store, is the largest in the world, played to lure customers in to the store. The Philadelphia Chorus were dotted around the Cosmetics department during the busy Halloween weekend as they struck up and performed Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus amidst bemused shoppers.

Brilliant!

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Lego Cello

October 28, 2010
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Genius!

October 18, 2010

One day… I might be able to think about playing this piece of music, which I have hidden away somewhere! One day… when I’ve learned more than 2 of the Popper studies…!

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Call me a geek, but this makes me happy!

October 18, 2010
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Music Teaching part 3

October 8, 2010
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Music Teaching part 2

October 8, 2010