The Project

Winner of the David Bedford Music Education Award

Photos: Clive Barda


Trench Brothers commemorates the achievements and contributions made by ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War with an education programme for primary schools, which incorporates a new music theatre work by composers Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor and librettist Tertia Sefton-Green. Following research into unknown and known stories of West Indian and Indian troops, the piece will draw from their historical, cultural and musical influences. Alongside the commission, the programme delivers a wide range of events enabling students to develop a creative, artistic response to the stories and immortalise the deeds of these forgotten soldiers for their fellow students and wider audiences.


The new music theatre work by composers Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor dramatise some of the soldiers’ stories collated by researchers Parmjit Singh and Stephen Bourne enabling students to try and understand what it was actually like to be a soldier in the First World War and to emphathise with the reality of life in the Trenches. The culmination of the project in each school is a presentation of the music theatre piece featuring the students and their Trench Brothers puppets performing alongside actor Richard Sumitro and three-time Wire/Guardian Jazz Awards Best Vocalist Cleveland Watkiss. The performances use a wide range of musical genres to bring to life their hopes and fears, their longing for home, their camaraderie and their courage and valour.



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For more information or if you are interested in participating in Trench Brothers, fill in the application form, accessed above, email or call 020 8882 8825.