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Commemorating the Battle of the Somme

The Ulster Tower, Thiepval, France, 1st July 2020

On 1st July, Emma visited France to sing for the 104th commemorations of the Battle of the Somme, organised by the Royal British Legion and the Somme Association.

The Battle of the Somme was the worst day in British military history. On the first day, 1st July, 1916, over 57,470 casualties were recorded.

The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing lists the names of over 72,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers and officers who were reported as missing.

Emma sang during the Royal British Legion’s ceremony at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in the presence of the British Ambassador to France and attachés and representatives from New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Australia, and other nations.

The next ceremony was at the Ulster Tower, Northern Ireland’s national war memorial. The tower was built to commemorate the 36th (Ulster) division, who suffered extreme casualties.

The final ceremony of the day was at Guillemont at the memorial for the 16th (Irish) Division.

2020-07-12T10:59:05+02:00July 2nd, 2020|

Thanking the Military for their support during the pandemic

On request of W.O. B. Firth, the Justinus Ensemble provided a version of “Can you hear me?” with footage of the military helping out during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. It was shared during the Armed Forces Day on 27th June.

“Can you hear me?” was composed by Thomas Hewitt Jones and Matt Harvey.

2020-07-12T10:36:30+02:00June 27th, 2020|

Can you hear me?

Emma is delighted to present the Dutch première of Thomas Hewitt Jones‘s and Matt Harvey‘s “Can you hear me?” together with the Justinus Ensemble and pianist/conductor Brian Fieldhouse.

Written to raise awareness of mental-health and loneliness issues during lockdown, “Can you hear me?” captures the spirit of reaching out to one another in difficult times.

This performance was recorded live in the Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden, the Netherlands, without an audience. The film, produced by manager Peter Breedijk, shows the aspects of life that have become all too familiar in recent months: face-coverings, hand-sanitiser, empty public spaces, and at the same time we hope it gives you, the viewer, a message of hope. 

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If you have been moved by this music, please check out this website and consider purchasing or streaming the original:

http://smarturl.it/THJcanyouhearme

“Can you hear me?” is published by Stainer and Bell and is available to download here.

Solo voice and piano: https://stainer.co.uk/shop/y359/

Choir and piano: https://stainer.co.uk/shop/y360/

Proceeds from the original single and sheet music are being donated to mental health charities.

2020-06-22T22:29:46+02:00June 23rd, 2020|

Composition première

Emma’s setting of the Dutch Protestant Gospel Acclamation was performed for the first time on Sunday 7th June by members of the Leidse Cantorij, organist Willeke Smits, and conductor Hans Brons.

2020-06-11T13:29:19+02:00June 11th, 2020|

Commemorating D-Day, seventy-six years later

Emma had looked forward to traveling to Normandy this year to sing during the seventy-sixth commemorations of the D-Day landings. Due to the pandemic, it was not possible for her to travel. She was delighted to take part in an online video, organized by D-Day Revisited, organized so people could share messages with each other.

2020-06-11T13:24:34+02:00June 6th, 2020|

Commemorating the Battle of Ypenburg

On 10th May, 2020, the Netherlands marks eighty years since the country was drawn into the Second World War.

Early in the morning on 10th May, 1940, Hitler’s troops invaded the Netherlands. One of their goals was to capture The Hague, the seat of government. After an airborne attack, they managed to capture the three airports around the Hague: Ypenburg, Ockenburg, and Valkenburg. However, the Dutch launched a counter attack in Ypenburg and managed to recapture the airport, in spite of being heavily outnumbered and lacking in equipment.

In the Battle of Ypenburg, near the Hague, around one hundred Dutch soldiers were killed as they recaptured airport at Ypenburg from invading troops. Around one hundred Dutch soldiers died in the attempt, and the airport buildings were destroyed. This victory gave enough time for Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Bernhard, and senior members of the Dutch government, to escape to England.

The Battle of Ypenburg is commemorated every year on 10th May. Emma has been invited to sing at the ceremony, which will be broadcast on the Dutch television channel SBS6 on “Hart van Nederland.”

The ceremony is held at the Ypenburg Monument, which has the inscription “Attacked but not defeated.”

Sunday, 10th May, 14:00, live on SBS6 from the Ypenburg Monument in The Hague, the Netherlands.

2020-05-10T10:04:34+02:00May 9th, 2020|

Virtual Parade 2020

To mark VE Day during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Steven Carr organised a virtual parade. Over 350 Royal British Legion Standard Bearers sent footage of themselves performing the Act of Remembrance. These were compiled into a video.

Emma sang “We’ll Meet Again” at end of the video.

2020-05-10T10:09:45+02:00May 8th, 2020|