Brighton school lights up for VE Day

Pupils and staff at Roedean made a moving tribute for VE Day by lighting the school’s façade in a giant union jack with 75 emblazoned across it. They also projected the words to We’ll Meet Again as the choir sings them from around the globe.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 2:51 pm
The front of Roedean School in Brighton, Sussex is lit up wit the Union Jack and to celebrate VE Day 75th anniversary ***Pic by David McHugh / Brighton Pictures SUS-200705-144241001

The school captured the moment on film and have shared it online as a tribute to the fallen of World War Two as we commemorate the 75-year anniversary.

Theatre manager Joe Wailes, who has been quarantined in the school since the start of lockdown, choreographed the after-dark lighting up of the school while head of music Veronica Fewkes managed to assemble the girls of the choir remotely from across the world to get them to record the song.

She said: “I sent the music to the girls and our assistant director of music Benjamin Rous played the piano part and sent that out so they could practise singing on their own. When he edited it, he even added a gramophone crackle to make it sound like the original.

The front of Roedean School in Brighton, Sussex is lit up wit the Union Jack and to celebrate VE Day 75th anniversary ***Pic by David McHugh / Brighton Pictures SUS-200705-144328001

“We practised all together via Microsoft Teams during our choir rehearsal on Tuesdays – it’s not easy to get the sound you get when its live but they did a great job. You can tell from how they have sung it that it was emotional – they really want to do it as it had such extra resonance right now.”

Roedean head Oliver Blond said: “From the lights to the message and the singing, I thought the video is wonderful. I know the girls will be longing to see all their friends again and resume school life so the message here will mean a lot to them. I’m proud of the choir for learning this and working hard to put it together.”

Just because there is no theatre performances at the moment at Roedean, it doesn’t mean the theatre manager has been idle. On top of lighting up the school for VE Day, Joe also lit it in stunning NHS blue to salute those who have been laying their lives on the line for us in our hospitals and care homes.

Joe has also spent most evenings sawing face visors out of plastic sheeting he found in the school theatre’s props department – he has now made 500 which have been sent to the Royal Sussex and various GP and dental practices.

The school has also managed to gather together from across the site a further 2,500 pieces of PPE such as disposable gloves, disposable aprons, safety goggles and surgical face masks from the science and health centre.