Music Builds Communities

A Community project for Newmarket and Area

“.....bringing people together through music!”

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World War One event – November 8, 2014

On the evening of Saturday November 8th, Exning based ‘Music Builds Communities’ held an evening to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One. This followed the Exning Enlistment Re-enactment in the afternoon

The original plan was to hold the event in the Exning Community Church Hall but such was the demand for tickets that it had to be moved to St Martin’s Church

At a regular Wednesday “Singing for Fun” session someone suggested that near Remembrance Weekend perhaps we could have an evening singing songs from World War One in place of our usual mix of pop, rock and show tunes. We realised there might be others in the village who would enjoy singing those songs so we decided to hold one after the Re-enactment. We were concerned that might glorify war and wanted to balance it with a second half of the evening which would be more serious. We were made aware of a national initiative called ‘The Last Post’ and decided to incorporate some of its ideas”.

‘The Last Post’ was a mass participation project taking place in cities, towns and villages across the UK in November 2014. Hundreds of people united in communities around the nation to remember the impact that the First World War had on their local community and played music from the era as a mark of commemoration.

For static photos click here

Photos by:  Angela Chapman, Andrew Burton, Matthew Whitaker

World War 1

At every event, the Last Post bugle call was played to remember people in their community, not just on bugles but on any instrument.  In Exning, MBC used a range of instruments played by its members which included Alp Horn, Clarinet, Flute, Recorders and Saxophone.   There were electric versions on guitar, bass and ukulele.  It was opened with the Last Post played on a hose pipe and finished with the traditional bugle call on cornet. “Silent Night” was sung in German, English and French by the MBC Choir, commemorating the impromptu truce at Christmas 1914 when men from both sides met out of the trenches.

Between each musical item there was a reading or poem reflecting the Great War, with many of them having a local connection.  These included a letter from the front thanking the

ladies of Exning for clothes they’d made, a poem written for the evening reflecting the contrast between the quiet of riding out on Newmarket Heath with the noise of the trenches. Three Exning men who died for their country were remembered with short biographies of their lives and deaths. They were chosen as they had been members of St Martin’s choir.  If MBC had existed 100 years ago these men would have been among its members.