The Fusilier Museum secure Arts Council funding for Gallipoli centenary commemorations


The Fusilier Museum, Bury has been successful in securing £18,000 worth of funding from the Arts Council to commission a piece of music to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in which the Lancashire Fusiliers famously won “Six VC’s before breakfast”.

The funding will include the commission of the composer, Martin Ellerby as well as a performance of the piece at the centenary celebrations in 2015. The performance will also co-inside with the launch of a ground breaking exhibition at the museum which will hopefully include all six Victoria Crosses on display in one place.

The chosen composer, Martin Ellerby has written in most forms including symphonies, concertos and a large scale requiem for choir and orchestra. He has also written test pieces for all the key brass band contests and completed a seven year post as civilian composer-in-residence to the Regimental Band of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards. His music has been broadcast and recorded all over the world by leading ensembles and performed at many prestigious venues.

Helen Smith, General Manager of The Fusilier Museum, said: “We are delighted to announce that our funding bid for Gallipoli 100 has been successful and we are extremely grateful to the Arts Council for funding this exciting project. Gallipoli is such an important event in the history of the Lancashire Fusiliers that we wanted to do something special to mark the centenary which would also provide a legacy moving forward. This funding has enabled us to do just that and we look forward to working with Martin on the commemorative piece”.

Martin Ellerby added “As the designated composer I am delighted to be involved with the Gallipoli 100 Project which will reach full fruition in 2015. Meanwhile I shall be creating a composition that will fulfil the many aspects we all wish it to encompass. These will include a suite of several movements which can be performed in a concert environment, use extracts as part of the display in the exhibition at the museum and a march which is available in a separate orchestration and can be performed by a marching band. I’m sure many other prospects will arise during and after the writing of the work as we combine resources to deliver what is ultimately a fitting tribute to the events at Gallipoli. At this first stage I will be agreeing a suitable structure to build the musical composition on in close collaboration with the advisory panel."

The museum recently received funding from the Gallipoli Association to work with Touchstones Museum in nearby Rochdale on a joint education project which will see children researching the roles and stories of local soldiers who served at Gallipoli.

The Fusilier Museum in Bury, Lancashire, is home to the collections of XX The Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Documenting over 300 years of history and heritage through permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Museum tells the rich and fascinating stories of the people who have served and continue to service in the Regiments.

The museum is currently working on a £1.4m development project on the top floor which is due for completion later this year. The development will include a new open store to display more of the collection, learning facilities and a new conference and events space.

For further media information please contact, Gini Wilde at The Fusilier Museum or telephone 07967019099

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