Preston will hold a community concert to celebrate peace and remember lost ones

Prestons One Voice Community Choir
Prestons One Voice Community Choir
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At least 100 singers in Lancashire will join their voices together in a peace concert to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Across the UK Armistice Day will be marked with ceremonies to remember the people who lost their lives in the war.

An evening of Indian Classical Dance, featuring performers from the Abhinandana Dance school

An evening of Indian Classical Dance, featuring performers from the Abhinandana Dance school

In Lancashire on November 11 a host of services and occasions will mark the anniversary.

Now thanks to a Big Lottery Fund grant of £8,000, Preston’s One Voice Community Choir will put on at a Community Concert for Peace as a celebration of peace and to remember all who have suffered from war and conflict.

Telling the Post about how the idea for the peace concert came about Stuart McPhillips, of the choir, said: “Around the time that we were talking about the idea for the concert there was the bomb in Manchester.

“It touched us because there were some people in the choir who knew people who’d been at the concert.

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“There are a lot of aspirations for peace and one thing that we can do is put on an event for Armistice Day which recognises the significance of that event.

“It also allows people to say we will do all we can to try and achieve as much peace as possible within our communities.”

Gujarat Dancers, lead by Abhinandana Mk, are preparing two Indian classical dance routines to perform on the night.

Abhi said: “My girls will perform one peace dance called the Shanti Mantra. It says a lot about peace all around the world in the air, fire and water. It includes all the five elements and it’s about peace in the environment which will be replicated between ourselves and within ourselves.

Prestons One Voice Community Choir announce their Community Concert for Peace for Armistice Day

Prestons One Voice Community Choir announce their Community Concert for Peace for Armistice Day

“In Indian classical dance there are a lot of emphasis on expressions and grace. There will be birds, mountains, water and earth represented - all the elements coming together. It’s a way of storytelling through dance.

“The other dance will be to an English song with the choir performing and holding candles. My dancers will be performing an Indian classical dance alongside. The dance will be about lighting the hope within you. It talks about bringing light around the world.

“Peace is one of the most important aspects of Hinduism. It will be wonderful to present a peace concert and the dances will represent that.”

One Voice Community Choir, which has around 70 members, will also be bringing members of the community into the choir for the occasion.

From refugees to young carers and people with special educational needs it hopes to have a diverse choir of singers to promote peace within the local Lancashire area.

Stuart said: “We have got a mix of age groups and a mix of different backgrounds and circumstances.

“It will be very significant for refugees and asylum seekers especially. I have been down to the drop in centre that the British Red Cross runs and when I outlined our idea it was met with immediate enthusiasm.

“A choir called Together in Song from Manchester will also be performing on the night. The group is made up of people who are suffering from Dementia and their carers. I’m told they are extremely powerful on stage.

“We are running workshops with the different community groups to rehearse three different songs that they will be involved in and then we’ll have two rehearsals to pull the whole show together. We’ll have in excess of 100 people performing.”

Groups who are performing in the Community Concert for Peace include Barnardo’s Lancashire Young Carers, Barnardo’s Include Me 2, Community Gateway Association and the British Red Cross Refugee Support Service.

The three songs they will sing are Love, Oh Love by Lionel Richie and two songs written by the musical director of One Voice Community Choir, Tyndale Thomas (MBE) - Hope Around the World and Signed on the Dotted Line.

“The theme of Signed on the Dotted Line is about signing up for freedom and remembering what people have signed up for in the past and what people have committed themselves to,” said Stuart.

The Community Concert for Peace will be held at the Gujarat Hindu Society in South Meadow Lane, Preston, on Saturday, November 10 from 7pm.

Tickets are £5 and £12 for a family ticket of two adults and two children. Available from members of One Voice Community Choir and through Skiddle.com - search ‘Community Concert for Peace With One Voice’