Trench Brothers commemorates the achievements and contributions made by ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War with an education programme for primary schools, which incorporates a new music theatre work.
Alongside the commission, the programme delivers a wide range of events enabling students to develop a creative, artistic response to the stories and immortalise the deeds of these forgotten soldiers for their fellow students and wider audiences.
The new music theatre work by writer Mike Phillips and composers Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor will dramatise some of the soldiers’ stories collated by researchers Parmjit Singh and Stephen Bourne enabling students to try and understand what it was actually like to be a soldier in the First World War and to emphathise with the reality of life in the Trenches.
They told us:
“HMDT Music is absolutely delighted to be awarded The David Bedford Music Education Award for Trench Brothers, our new commission for schools commemorating the achievements and contributions made by ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War. A frequent commissioner of new works, we’re particularly excited that the project incorporates both a new work by renowned jazz artist and composer Julian Joseph, collaborating with award-winning theatre composer Richard Taylor, and the creation of 50 songs by a host of other composers. These songs will be written with primary school students, set to words they have written as a letter home from soldiers whose lives they have researched as part of the project.
Together with our partners, the National Army Museum and Little Angel Theatre, we are offering participating schools artefact-handling sessions, meetings with a Costumed Interpreter, puppet-making workshops and work with an extensive new on-line teaching resource, as well as the composition workshops. Trench Brothers culminates in interactive in-school performances, led by artists including Guardian-acclaimed jazz singer of the year, Cleveland Watkiss.
For HMDT Music, the project exemplifies our approach towards creating new works which focus on celebrating the often unacknowledged heroes in history, and embedding the arts across all areas of learning to raise aspirations and achievements. We are particularly proud to receive this award in recognition of our work and are very grateful to PRS for Music Foundation for their support.”
Find out more about HMDT Music here