Thurrock Marching Brass was honoured and proud to be asked to provide a young member to play the General Salute, just prior to the lighting of a beacon, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day at the Coalhouse Fort in Tilbury during the evening of 8 May 2015.
This honour and privilege fell on the very young shoulders of long serving member, Rebecca Corcoran. Despite being just 13 years of age, she had already demonstrated her abilities by securing a Gold Medal in the British Youth Band Association Individuals and Ensembles competition in 2013 for solo brass, and in 2014 moved up to the more senior and tougher age category on 15 and under, where she secured an impressive Silver medal.
Since being selected, Rebecca has been practicing the general salute on the traditional bugle. But that couldn’t have prepared her for standing on her own at the very top of Coalhouse Fort, spot-lit and with the Mayor of Thurrock a short few feet away as she played towards the veteran’s tent and the large and appreciative audience – all far below her.
As the Union Jack waved in the wind at the top of the fort, and Rebecca started to play, there was an eerie reverence; all those present gave thought to the many who gave their lives to ensure victory and to each and every member of the forces, support functions and helpers who contributed to giving us the freedom that we sometimes take for granted today. Lest we ‘never’ forget.
A very humbled and proud chairman, Paul Morgan commented “To be a part of such a universal and historical marking of something so special and meaningful will be something that we will all remember for a long time to come. To meet with veterans on the day at the street party inside the fort was just amazing. Some of the stories and the antics made us both laugh and take stock of just how lucky we really are in today’s society for their bravery. I am especially proud of young Rebecca Corcoran being placed into an incredibly moving and at the same time pressurised situation, to deliver her performance but she handled it brilliantly. She delivered the general salute with all the passion necessary and it was a wonderful introduction to the lighting of the beacon, so very well done Rebecca. I would like to thank also all those responsible for organising this event, it was incredibly well run, entertaining in parts, but equally respectful and appreciative of the efforts of so many. I am glad that we, through Rebecca’s efforts, were able to contribute to its success”.
Thurrock Marching Brass is proud to perform as much as they can within the community and you can keep up to date with all their engagements on our website below or by following them on Facebook.