Haringey Young Musicians' play at Somme centenary tribute

By Clare Casey in Local People

YOUNG musicians from Haringey will play a live score to accompany an iconic silent film to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme.

The Haringey Young Musicians’ Orchestra is taking part in the Somme 100 Film – an international project organised by the Imperial War Musuems, as part of the First World War Centenary Partnership to mark the anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles in history, where more than a million men were killed or wounded.

The concert will have particular resonance for performer, Alice Hathway, 13, who plays the oboe. Her great, great uncle was a soldier fighting in the Somme, a battle fought by the British and French against the German empire.

Alice, a pupil at Camden School for Girls, who lives in Park Avenue North, Hornsey, said:

“It’s such a wonderful thing to be taking part in this concert – seeing the film and playing the music shows me what my great great uncle Charlie had to go through. He can’t have been much older than me when he went out there and it really makes me realise that it was because of people like him that we can enjoy life as we know it.”

The film, released in the UK in 1916, was one of the most watched in British history because it was the first feature length documentary film to show footage of war in action. It was seen by 20 million people in the first six weeks of its release - half the UK population - hoping to catch a glimpse of a loved one.

The project aims to bring together 100 live orchestral performances – including the one in Haringey - with composer Laura Rossi’s acclaimed score.

David Williamson, founder of the Talkies Community Cinema, that shows films in community venues including the Fox pub, in Palmers Green, and the Bounds Green Bowls and Tennis Club said he was excited to be putting on the film.

Mr Williamson said: “I am very excited to bring this event to Heartlands High School and once again connect with the amazing talent in Haringey schools.

“Haringey has a long tradition of outstanding music education. It is wonderful that the event will inspire new generations to look back and learn from such tragic world events and interpret them anew through their creative work.”

The film will be shown at Heartlands High School, Station Road, Wood Green on March 22 at 7:30pm.

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