Singing for Remembrance

Cottenham’s amazing Tyrannochorus choir, with its wide variety of ages, held a concert at All Saints’ Church on the Saturday after Armistice Day. Its purpose was remembrance, particularly of what happened in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, but also for all those who died in other wars of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Siobhan Lihoreau’s choir is known as Tyrannochorus and is made up of three parts. The older ones are Big Mouth, the teenagers are Vox Pop and the little ones are Tongue Twisters and all made moving contributions to the hour-long concert which included modern music of composers like Howard Goodall, James Taylor and Paul Mealor whose ‘Wherever You Are’, sung by the wives of serving men, was a Christmas hit two years ago. Pete Churchill’s ’Shame on You’ was about one of the effects of war, refugees seeking safety and those who turn away. Tim Lihoreau’s ‘I will always remember’ was very touching.

The pews were full and Siobhan invited everyone to join in the choruses of ‘Now is the Hour’, the Maori Farewell Song – sung first in Maori by a Vox Pop and then in the English version – and ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ written by Welshman Ivor Novello.

Two poems were particularly poignant. ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ by Wilfred Owen who was shot and killed, aged 25, in November 1918 – the news reaching his parents in Britain as the bells of the Armistice were ringing out on 11 November. ‘Just Twenty One’ by Robert Kiely remembers Afghanistan in 2011and the burial ground where the soldier remains just 21.

Refreshments were served to the appreciative audience and a collection taken, raising an impressive £650 for the charity Help for Heroes.

Tyrannochorus choir at All Saints’s Church Cottenham
Tyrannochorus remembrance recital at All Saints’s Church Cottenham