review: Youth festival of remembrance, leas cliff hall
MORE than 200 young people took part in the 3rd Youth Festival of Remembrance, this year compered by BBC Radio Kent's drive-time presenter Dominic King, who described the evening as "amazing". The event runs along similar lines to the Royal Albert Hall Festival and a very high standard of performance in a variety of activities was displayed by young people from the area's youth and cadet organisations, schools and individuals.
Culminating in a muster of standards, formation of drum altar, act of remembrance, Last Post and two minutes' silence with poppy drop and reveille, the evening was a fabulous example that the vast majority of our young people DO have great respect for sacrifices past and present, and DO make very good use of their time.
Local organisations involved included both individual and combined performances by the Brockhill college choir, with stunning solos by Rebecca Allen, and the Shepway Primary Schools' Choir, who stole hearts with their enthusiasm and actions to their songs. Readings and poetry retold outstanding feats of bravery and experiences during the wars, and were read with passion and composure by the students from Brockhill.
Folkestone, Hythe and New Romney Sea Cadets' combined band gave a rousing display and the Blue Notes Swing Band made a popular return. Dance Warehouse and Folkestone Girl Guides added further dimensions with story and dance, and 99 (Folkestone) Squadron Air Cadets and the Salvation Army Junior Band added to the musical extravaganza.
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The Blue Falcons Gymnastics Display Team had the entire audience on its feet in appreciation of their breath-taking acrobatics display – during which King and other unwitting "volunteers" were brought in and somersaulted over.
A fantastic evening of respect and remembrance and hope, organiser Oliver Simpson paid tribute to all the performers and helpers who made it possible.
Pam Meller, from New Romney