We’ll Meet Again, a compilation of several HMDT Music commissions was planned as a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. For the first time, we had booked a theatre so that all the I Can Sing! students could have the opportunity to perform in a professional environment at Stratford Circus.
We began rehearsals in January and had eight weeks of amazing rehearsals with every student fully committed to learning about the Second World War, understanding and responding to the music they were singing and engaging fully in the choreography and staging. In fact, so immersed were they, that we had actually covered all the repertoire and begun staging every number by the time lockdown began.
On the 14th March, knowing that changes were looming, we took the precaution of filming all the sessions ensuring we had covered all the numbers performed by each individual group. Not every student was able to attend and the ones that were there had no idea their run-throughs would become part of the show. Filming was informal on phones, sometimes alongside conducting, directing, choreographing with the other hand!
The wealth of material already covered and the commitment of our students meant we were able to continue the project online, with them submitting drawings, designs, monologues they themselves wrote, as well as recordings of them singing to our pre-recorded versions; no mean feat without a conductor, other singers and on material that had only just been learnt!
I hope this film we have created of a ‘Scrapbook’ of We’ll Meet Again, will give you an insight into what we had hoped to present and showcase the wonderful talents and commitment of our students. Out of adversity comes creativity and although I am really sad we could not offer what we planned, for now, I am also immensely proud of how much everyone achieved in such a short space of time.
My thanks to our wonderful team, in particular Director Sue Moore who worked closely on the film, Music Director Stephen Tatlow who has edited all the individual audio recordings into group choruses and scenes, and film maker Alan Bowyer.
We hope you all enjoy watching this as much as we have enjoyed making it for you!