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Innovative project inspires children to understand the role of ethnic minority soldiers in the First World War

Posted  15 February 2016 in News  
By Kate Clements
Trench Brothers at Gayhurst Community School, London, 28 November 2014 © CLIVE BARDA/ArenaPAL

To mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, HMDT Music’s cross-curricular arts project, Trench Brothers, is being offered to primary schools in 2016.

Delivered in partnership with both the National Army Museum and the Little Angel Theatre, Trench Brothers focuses on the role of ethnic minority soldiers. It features a new work by composers: renowned jazz artist Julian Joseph and award-winning Richard Taylor set to a libretto by Tertia Sefton-Green.

School pupils work with a specially-created online Education Zone, offering 90 cross-curricular lesson plans and activities linked to every core subject. Students also receive an artefacts handling session and a visit from a costumed interpreter soldier, before making their own Trench Brother puppets.

Following work with a research toolkit each school is given to explore the life of a specific Indian Army, British West Indies or black British soldier, students write a ‘Letter Home’ from their soldier, before setting it to music in a composer-led workshop.

In each school, Trench Brothers culminates in a fully-staged performance of the music theatre work and the new Letter Songs, performed by a professional artistic team and participating students with their puppets.

Find out more about the project and sign your school up to take part on the Trench Brothers website.

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