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Episode 1

Two-part documentary following choirmaster Gareth Malone as he forms a Military Wives choir to perform at a WW1 centenary prom. In this episode, Gareth begins the auditions.

Choirmaster Gareth Malone is back. He thinks the Military Wives are the perfect choice to launch the nation's centenary commemorations of the outbreak of World War I, and he pulls together a new Military Wives super-choir to stage a very special prom in association with the National Theatre's War Horse team.

It is three years since Gareth formed the first Military Wives choir, and since then the organisation has mushroomed with over 80 choirs and 2,000 members around the globe.

In this episode, Gareth sets out to audition as many of them as possible for his 100-strong choir. The wives usually sing pop songs, but Gareth has a repertoire of taxing classical pieces that were popular at the time of the First World War in mind, including Gustav Holst's fiendish Ave Maria set in eight-part harmony and a moving setting of Tennyson's poem Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead, so he needs to recruit the very best technical singers for what will be their toughest ever musical challenge.

As the gruelling rehearsals get under way, Gareth discovers that the wives' dignity in the face of the constant threat of the death of their loved ones is as strong as ever, and the wives discover powerful parallels with their counterparts 100 years before them.

The first episode culminates in an emotional performance at RAF Brize Norton for some of Britain's last deployment of troops to return from Afghanistan.

59 minutes

Last on

Christmas Eve 2014 13:35

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Coronation Mass - Gloria

  • Karl Böhm

    The Marriage of Figaro – Duettino-Sull Aria

    Performer: Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin.

    From The Shawshank Redemption

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Dance of the Reed Pipes - Nutcracker

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Op.71a The Children's Galop - Entrance of the Parents - Nutcracker

  • Johann Strauss II

    Emperor Waltz

    Orchestra: Vienna Strauss Orchestra. Conductor: Joseph Francek.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Music from the Royal Fireworks

    Orchestra: St. Petersburg Chamber Festival Orchestra.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, BWV 1007: Courante

    Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Unaccompanied Cello Suite No.6 in D Major, BWV 1012: Gigue

  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Venetian Gondola Song Mendelssohn

  • Franz Schubert

    Rosamunde, Furstin von Zypern, D. 797: Ballet Music II, No.9 in G Major

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
  • Joseph Haydn

    La Fedelta Premiata 5

  • Frédéric Chopin

    Preludes, Op. 28 : No. 15 in Db Major "Raindrop" Sostenuto

  • Giacomo Puccini

    Gianni Schicchi: O Mio Babbino Caro

  • Ludovico Einaudi

    Nuvole Bianche

  • Gustav Holst

    Ave Maria

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Suite No.6: VI. Finale (arr. From Partita No.3 in e Major, BWV 1006: Prelude)

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Leonard Slatkin.
  • Sir Edward Elgar

    The Snow

    Performer: Military Wives.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No.7 in A Major Op.92

  • Jacques Offenbach

    La Belle Helene

  • Margot Cavalier

    Corporate Piano and Strings

    Composer: Philippe Bestion.
  • Ludovico Einaudi

    Dietro Casa

  • Émile Waldteufel

    The Skaters Waltz Op 183

  • Thomas Arne

    Rule, Britannia!

    Lyricist: James Thomson.
  • Paul Mealor

    Wherever You Are

    Performer: Military Wives Choir.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

    Performer: Garath Malone. Performer: Hannah French.
  • Dame Ethel Smyth

    The March of The Women

    Conductor: Philip Brunelle. Orchestra: Plymouth Festival Orchestra and Chorus.
  • Paul Mealor

    Wherever You Are

    Performer: Military Wives Choir.
  • Gary Barlow


    Performer: Military Wives. Composer: Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • Military Wives

    Sweet Child Of Mine

  • Joseph Haydn

    The Last Post


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