Alumnus collaborates with singer thousands of miles away to mark Remembrance Day

Alan Robertson has been arranging and recording music during his retirement. To mark Remembrance Day this year, he has collaborated with singer, Abby Strickland – who is based in South Africa, to produce a cover of a song that was written by Owain Park for the Military Wives Choir in 2018.

Alan Robertson playing a guitar

The piece, The Poppy Red, is in support and promotion of the Poppy Appeal, which raises money to support military veterans and their families.

Alan and Abby had worked together on an earlier piece, and they decided to work together again on The Poppy Red, despite living 6,000 miles apart.

Alan released the piece on 6 November – the week in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday – to help to remember those who have lost their lives in conflict.

The arrangement has been put together to slim down the version that was originally sung by the Military Wives Choir, with Abby singing vocal lead and accompanying harmonies on this version.

Sharing the details of the new arrangement, Alan said:

“The arrangement is an acoustic guitar accompaniment with some simple cello parts written in to add a little warmth and fullness to the sound. On the more powerful chorus, I added an acoustic bass and some piano to fill out the sound a little more.”

The lyrics of the song draw from poetry by Moina Michael and John McCrae.

About Alan

As he headed towards his retirement, Alan knew he wanted to return to his musical passion. During 11 years, he has released 56 audio tracks on SoundCloud and 60 music videos on YouTube, amassing over 88,000 views since he started his channel in 2016 – with 80,000 in the last six months.

Alan was a teacher and gained his Certificate in Education qualification in Physical Education with English from Loughborough in 1974.

He taught in Liverpool and Lincolnshire before becoming an educational consultant with the East Midlands Leadership Centre in Northampton and then a headteacher mentor with the School Improvement Service in Lincolnshire.