Six hundred voices to mark the centenary of the First World War

Young singers from the UK, Germany, France and Belgium will join forces

The Centenary Chorus Sing UK

On Sunday 28 September a newly formed choir, The Centenary Chorus, will take to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall to mark the the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

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Organised by conductor Malcolm Goldring and Sing UK, the concert will feature 600 children between the ages of 13 and 18 from schools in Worcestershire, Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, London and Cambridge. They will be joined by young singers from France, Belgium and Germany.

The programme will include The Armed Man by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, Judex from Gounod’s Mors et Vita and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The 600-strong choir will be joined by The Philharmonia Orchestra.

David Whelton, managing director of the orchestra has said: ‘The Philharmonia Orchestra is delighted to be working in partnership with Sing UK to stage this special event. This occasion will provide a unique and uplifting experience for participants and audiences alike.’

Photographs from photojournalist Michael St Maur Sheil’s exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 14-18 will provide a backdrop to the concert and novelist Kate Mosse will introduce the evening.

It was 100 years ago today that Britain declared war on Germany and this upcoming concert is just one of numerous musical events taking place throughout Europe to mark the centenary this year.

A four-year long Sing UK project will culminate in another concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018 that will mark the end of the war. The programme will feature music by the British composer Bob Chilcott.

You can find out more about the impact of the First World War on music in the June issue of BBC Music Magazine, available to order at bbcmusic@servicehelpline.co.uk

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Eliot McGuire