Concert of remembrance strikes chord with Garrison School

Concert of remembrance strikes chord with Garrison School

5th January 2015


A BRITISH Army band heralded in the yuletide season accompanied by a North Yorkshire school choir at a special Christmas concert of remembrance.

Students from Risedale Sports and Community College, Hipswell, Catterick, performed with The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps at their annual Christmas concert to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Alongside modern and traditional carols, the band and choir gave a moving rendition of the German hymn Stille Nacht (Silent Night) in memory of the Christmas Day truce between German and English soldiers during the 1914 conflict.

Head of creative faculty at Risedale Sports and Community College Sarah Cox said: “Marking 100 years since the outbreak of World War I seemed a very appropriate tribute for a garrison school.

“It is even more fitting that this year, for the first time, we have been joined by The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps.

“Our annual Christmas Concert is always a highlight of the school year but having the band play alongside our choir makes it even more special.”

Students Joseph Andrews, Hannah Brunsdon, Adam Sims and Caitlin Smith each gave a short reading on the story of the Christmas Day ceasefire while service children’s advocate Ewan Thomson, who hosted the event, dressed as a WW1 soldier in a uniform donated by The Green Howards Regimental Museum.

Student support manager and service children’s advocate Helen Porritt said: “We are extremely fortunate to have all the musicians, led by Staff Sergeant Ben Ruffer, with us this evening.

“Christmas is a very busy time for them so it is a real privilege for them to come to Risedale and be a part of our Christmas concert.

“Over 50 per cent of our students are from military personnel families and we are very proud of our links with the Army - working together like this helps us to strengthen those relationships even further.”

Local band Fourum Folk, of Richmond, joined in the musical celebration performing their self-penned song Christmas Bells, which has been recorded and released on iTunes and Amazon - profits will be donated to military charity Help for Heroes to support the work of the Phoenix House recovery centre at Catterick.

Summing up the evening head teacher John Kelly added: “We are absolutely delighted that The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps was here to be part of our very special concert this evening.

“This is the first time since we signed up to the government backed Community Covenant, which encourages local communities to work and act together to support service personnel in their area, that they have been able to join us.
“It has been an exceptional night and I hope that it may become a Christmas tradition for them to join us again in the future.”

News in January