Music for Remembrance has become a much-loved annual fixture in the cultural calendar at Cranleigh, made all the more poignant for its association with Armistice Day. It is always a welcome opportunity to pause and reflect in the midst of a busy term. This year’s evening performance combined musical contributions and readings from the music department and wider common room within the meditative setting of the candle-lit chapel, exemplifying the pursuit of cultural and spiritual richness central to Cranleigh’s educational ethos.
The programme offered a number of well-known favourites, such as the Aria from the Goldberg Variations, the Pie Jesu from Duruflé’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer and Barber’s Adagio for Strings (transcribed for organ). There was a core of fine English songs and instrumental music from the early-20th century, as well as a stylistically diverse array of complementary pieces, ranging in genre from musical theatre to folk and even Estonian tintinabular music.
This rich diversity was echoed in the poetry and readings too, with notable examples being Mrs Jody Cooksley reading from her own text How to Keep Well in Wartime and Mr David Vaiani reciting An die Soldaten des Grossen Krieges in the original German. At the heart of the evening, Rev. Jacob Harrison reflected on the unique achievements of Frank Dove, OC, who won a medal for bravery in WWI, boxed in the Olympics and went on to be a respected and successful barrister. He was also one of Cranleigh’s first black pupils, joining in 1910.
Thanks are due to all my colleagues for their valuable contributions to the evening: Mr Richard Saxel, Mr David Eaglestone, Mr Philip Scriven, Dr Andrew Thomas and Mrs Leena-Maaria Kantlin-Weaver from the music department, and Rev. Jacob Harrison, Mrs Jody Cooksley, Mr Billy Backhouse, Mr David Vaiani, Mrs Verity Dutton, Miss Anna Billson and Miss Dominique Chapman from the wider common room.