VE Day celebrations in Scotland are being marked with a special musical production.
In commemoration of the miracle of Dunkirk and the decisive victory of the Battle of Britain,Our Finest Hour will see TV star Kevin Whately host a pair of triumphant and rousing concerts in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Featuring vocalist Annie Gill and the BBC Big Band, with music director Barry Forgie, Our Finest Hour looks back in the words and music of World War Two, bringing together the famous speeches of Winston Churchill and the best tunes of the time from the dance halls and wireless.
As Britain stood alone, facing the most fearful odds, Winston Churchill rallied the nation with his historic speeches, laying bare the enormous task that had to be undertaken on the road to
Winston Churchill said on 18 June 1940: ‘The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin… The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war.
If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.’
Across the Channel, after the miracle of Dunkirk, the Germans readied their invasion plans but the Battle of Britain denied the Luftwaffe control of the skies and the Nazis turned instead towards attacking the Soviet Union.
The music and songs of the era evoke so tellingly the national feelings of pride and determination mixed with typical British humour and a touch of self-deprecation. It really was Our Finest Hour.
From Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields to the Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller, the music of the 1940s is as well-loved today as ever. Our Finest Hour will feature iconic songs such as We’ll Meet Again, (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover and A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square as well as some of the classic music the war inspired, including the Dam Busters March and the music from Ron Goodwin’s classic scores to Battle of Britain and 633 Squadron. Dunkirk Spirit and audience participation will be encouraged through rousing performances of Rule, Britannia!, I Vow to Thee My Country, and Land of Hope and Glory.