The Red Reaches

For some years, school has upheld the tradition of commemorating Remembrance with respectful and thought-provoking assemblies.

These assemblies always conclude with a live music performance which accompanies a montage of images as a poignant reminder of war and loss and as an opportunity for quiet reflection.

Last year, we struggled to find a piece of music which created the tenor and gravitas appropriate to the mood we sought so decided to write our own. Three creative Year 10 boys composed a hugely powerful poem in their school holidays which we decided to set to music. The haunting chorus line in the poem lent itself beautifully for conversion into our song's motif and its refrain. It is a moving homage to the humble poppy with all its tragic and painful associations but also a tribute to the hope it represents.

The song took the original poem as its inspiration and the finished piece is the result of a collaboration between the poets, Assistant Headteacher and English teacher Maggie Lambert and Head of Music and Lead Practitioner Andrew Fisher.

The song has been recorded in The Wordsley School Music Department by the following musicians: Hollie Minton, Oliver Preece, Lucy-Mae Hill, Olivia Day, Amy Swadkins, Jessica Weaver, Emma Jukes and Alicia Biggs.

The 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' 2014 installation the Tower of London also inspired us this year to extend our commitment to Remembrance. In the week beginning 7th November, we created our own version of this moving tribute to the fallen called 'The Red Reaches of the Poppy Field'. Our lower school pupils and staff have produced 750+ ceramic poppies - one to represent every pupil in the school - which forms our own art installation to commemorate all those who have died and who are still dying at war.

We believe we have created a truly inspirational tribute to the fallen which rightly honours their memory. We are sure you'll agree when you listen to our beautiful song and see the images of our magnificent poppy installation; we would love to receive feedback and perhaps approbation for our talented young people.

The song, which can be listened to and downloaded below, will be performed by the pupils at this year's school remembrance assembly.


This article, "The Red Reaches", was posted on 07-11-2016.