Wednesday 27 June 2018
Picture shows members of the Bath Curtain-Up Theatre Group with a Lottery phone number reminder.
A Bath-based charity that started in and around the city 11 years ago now reaches out to 1000s of older people across England and Wales. Today – June 27- it is celebrating after being nominated in a prestigious national education competition.
The four initial daytime Golden-Oldies, “Goldies” sessions in 2007 were taken by founder and Bath music man Grenville Jones. Now in 2018 there are over 150 daytime SING & SMILE sessions and 59 freelance leaders from Yorkshire to Cornwall and Essex across to Swansea.
Part of the charities development has been with projects that encourage schools to open their doors to older people. The latest one is based on the 100 year commemoration of World War One as the nation looks ahead to the Armistice in November. This Goldies programme is supported by the Royal British Legion and the WW1 Heritage Lottery Fund.
As part of the programme Grenville Jones commissioned a 30 minute production of words and music called Armistice Cantata, researched and written by primary school children for UK schools to perform.
Today – June 27 – National Lottery Awards has announced that it has been selected from 700 other projects in the Education Category 2018 Awards.
Grenville is over the moon with the news. He has a personal interest in the history of WW1, his grandfather William Henry Jones lost his life aged 24 in the early days of the Somme. He said:
“Armistice Cantata has narration and songs based on the popular melodies of 100 years ago. It was written by children at Thornhill Primary in Cardiff and early in June young people from the Curtain Up Theatre here in Bath, performed it to an audience of over 1000 at The Forum..
“The children worked on the project for 6 months and research include visits to WW1 Archives to see memorabilia and letters and find out more about the men who went to war.
“There are 7 songs and groups of children composed the lyrics for each one. They then worked on the narration script and the moving images that form the backdrop to the 30 minute production. It is brilliant.”
Sarah Carter from Curtain Up said;
“Our students found the whole experience of learning and performing Armistice Cantata a very moving one, some of them had little knowledge of the First World War and through the Cantata they certainly now have a much clearer understanding about how this War of 100 years ago has meaning to their lives today.”
Ian Dewey is Goldies Trustee chairman;
“This is a remarkable National Lottery funded project which has bridged the generations in commemorating those who served during the First World War. Armistice Cantata is very special because it can be adapted by UK schools who wish to localise their own productions. There are also opportunities to include local choirs, something of course that is very close to Grenville’s heart.
“We have seen on so many occasions the joy that comes when children and older people meet together on school projects, especially when they are joined in song. We’re hoping that all our supporters will vote for Armistice Cantata to be named the UK’s Best Education project.”
Voting can be on line
The project has a dedicated phone number 0844 836 9678
For the duration of the campaign, the project also has its own unique hashtag. It is #NLAArmisticeCantata
Final word goes to Sir Cliff Richard, Patron of the Goldies Charity. He said,
“We reach out and bring together children with older people in their local communities through our schools programme. Armistice Cantata is a brilliant production researched and written by talented children from Thornhill Primary School, Cardiff.
“To be nominated as one of the Education projects in the National Lottery Awards 2018 is a tremendous accolade and we are asking for everyone who supports our work to vote either online, by telephone or through Twitter for Armistice Cantata.
“Please help us to win this award.”
Enquiries to Grenville on 0777 828 2934 …