CHORISTERS from Angmering will be uniting with singers from across Europe in France, to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, later this year.
About 60 members of the Angmering Chorale will be travelling to the seaside town of Ouistreham, in Normandy, to take part in a commemorative concert paying tribute to all those killed during the historic Second World War assault.
The chorale will be joining with Ouistreham’s own choir and others from Belgium and Germany as part of the special performance, set to take place in May 4, at the Bayeux Cathedral.
Eric Holmes, chairman of the chorale, said it was an honour to be taking part in such a momentous occasion.
Mr Holmes said: “We’re just thrilled to be doing it, quite frankly. The landings were something quite historic and tremendously significant. So it’s hard to find the exact words to describe how I feel.”
He added: “During the war some of these nations would have been enemies with each other, so to have them now uniting and making a plea for peace is amazing.”
Angmering has been twinned with Ouistreham since 1976. It was this link which brought about the village choir’s invitation to the event, through Angmering Twinning Association.
The chorale’s musical director George Jones will be leading the performance, with members singing The Armed Man, by Karl Jenkins. It will be the precursor to a larger event marking the D-Day landings, in June, which will see world leaders descending upon Normandy to pay their own respects to all those killed and injured during the conflict.
Mr Holmes explained the chorale, and the other choirs taking part in the concert, had hoped to perform as part of the June celebrations.
“It’s a shame that we could not be a part of this,” he said. “It would have been nice to have some of the common people represented at the event.”
However, he added that it was a privilege to have an Englishman directing the event.
The chorale will be performing The Armed Man, next week, as part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival, in London. For details of future shows, see www.theangmeringchorale.org.uk