OLDHAM Choral Society take to the stage at the Royal Northern College of Music concert hall on Sunday (November 11) in a commemoration of the centenary of the First World War Armistice.

The concert “On Land and Sea – an Armistice Centenary Concert” starts at 7pm and begins with “The Armed Man” – a mass for peace compose by Sir Karl Jenkins to mark the Millennium.

It reflects on the misery and tragedy that war has brought to humankind, both military and civilians, adults and children, over the centuries, and particularly on the continued horrors of conflict and genocide had despite WW1 being considered at the time “the war to end all wars”.

Jenkins and his collaborator Guy Wilson include material from the traditional Roman Catholic mass, but also incorporate texts and music from other cultures, including the Islamic Call to Prayer (the Adhaan), the Hindu epic The Mahabharata, and a translation of Japanese poet Toge Sankichi as he describes the destruction caused by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

The work was inspired by contemporary events in the Balkans, particularly the Kosovan conflict and the massacre of innocent civilians.

It is the most frequently performed of all 21st century choral works, and popular extracts, such as the Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Benedictus are frequently heard on Classic FM.

The work incorporates the Last Post so will provide an opportunity for all involved to reflect on all those who fell in The Great War and subsequent conflicts.

The second half of the programme reflects on the contribution of the Navy. It opens with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford’s “Songs of the Fleet”, a cycle of five songs composed just before the outbreak of the war. It is a deeply reflective piece, and ends with a “Farewell” to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but it is interspersed with salty “sea songs”.

The programme ends with the ever popular “Fantasia on British Sea Songs”, which was arranged by Sir Henry Wood in 1905 to mark the centenary of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar (1805). The work is performed every season to conclude the BBC Proms, and provides an opportunity for the audience to join in with all the favourites, the Hornpipe, See the conquering hero, and Rule Britannia.

The evening concludes with Parry’s “Jerusalem”.

The 115 strong choir will be accompanied as usual by the highly accomplished East Lancs Sinfonia, and led by their regular conductor Nigel P Wilkinson.

The baritone soloist in the Stanford songs is the Australian RNCM alumni Dean Luxon– Robinson.

Tickets £15, students £5, accompanied children £1, available from ticket secretary Tel: 0161 797 3583 and RNCM Box Office 0161 907 5555.