Mark Deeks

In 2019, we mark a number of significant anniversaries of events that we should never forget. At the beginning of June it was 75 years since D-Day, when brave Allied troops stormed the beaches of Northern France, and we saw hugely emotional scenes remembering their sacrifice. It is also the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima, in what is now east India, where the British and Indian troops stopped the Japanese coming further west.  This year also commemorates 100 years since the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, ending the state of war between Germany and the Allies in World War I, and 50 years since the first deployment of British troops in Northern Ireland. Known as Remembrance Day in the UK, and Veterans Day in the US, each year in early November, we pause to make sure that those who have gone before us and sacrificed to allow us to live in peace, are never forgotten.

Many artists have turned to song when wanting to speak out against the horror of war, pause for reflection, pay tribute, or simply remember. In ‘Lest We Forget’, Sing United offers its own contribution of musical remembrance. Classic anti-war anthems from Marvin Gaye and George Harrison sit alongside tales of American conflicts by artists such as Bob Marley and Johnny Horton. There will be a very special “For England Medley”, and closer to home, Sing United continues to support north east artists, as we also include music from Teesside’s The Young’uns, and their story of Johnny Longstaff as he went from begging on the streets, to fighting against fascism at The Battle of Cable Street.

Whatever the sacrifice, lest we forget.

Each term we adopt a north east charity that has a connection to the songs we are singing and this year we have chosen "Launchpad". This is music with meaning.

Mark Deeks