A specially-created choir of eight male students from BIMM Brighton, under the tutelage of Kate Cameron, performed in World War One officer’s uniform for an invited audience on a BBC South East Today programme about the 1969 film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’.
The event was filmed and broadcast from Brighton’s Duke of York’s Picturehouse in the presence of some of the original cast members of the film – Angela Thorne, Maurice Roëves, actor Sir John Mills’ daughter Hayley Mills, and director Lord Richard Attenborough’s daughter, Charlotte.
Rehearsals ran for over a month and included marching around BIMM West while singing a selection of songs from WW1 loudly and in glorious harmony, including ‘Smile, Smile, Smile’ and ‘Goodbye-ee’. This caused quite a stir, as staff and students followed them back to their rehearsal room and stayed to listen! Soloists on the broadcast were Adam Segwick and Connor Turner, plus others in the choir included Zach Silver, Sean Pearce, Jordan Bradley, Matthew Hovenden and Luke Crawford, with BIMM friend and vocal coach, Keith Pemberton, making up the final member of the group. Keith even became an expert tailor in the process, after measuring up eight individual sets of army uniforms!
The performances were a resounding success. Programme producer, Vicki Berry said: ’I just wanted to say a huge, huge thank you to you and your choir for truly magnificent performances on Monday night. I am not exaggerating when I say your choir made the evening so special for so many people. You were my personal highlight of the evening. You had all obviously put so much effort into rehearsals and it really paid off. What a fabulous noise you made! It was spine-tingling.’