Epitaph (for Hillsborough)Brass Band
Epitaph (for Hillsborough) was written on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium disaster, April 15 1989, in memory of the 96 victims. All of the victims were fans of Liverpool Football Club, the club I have supported since I was a young child.
The disaster unfolded in front of the BBC television cameras, and due to the importance of the match (FA Cup semi final), millions, including myself, witnessed it first hand, leaving a lasting impression in the public psyche.
Several features of the piece were determined by the tragedy. The length of the piece, 6 and a half minutes, represents the minutes of the game that were played that day (The match was abandoned after 6 minutes), and the final thirty seconds of the work, where the band gently applaud, is a reference to the first match played after the tragedy, a European Cup semi final between AC Milan and Real Madrid.
After 6 minutes, the referee blew his whistle and all the players stood still where they were, both sets of fans applauded in memory of the perished, and the fans of AC Milan began singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, the anthem of Liverpool Football Club.
The work also features 96 strikes of the tubular bells, in memory of each person who lost their life.
Epitaph is dedicated to the 96 people who died that day, and to their families whose fight for justice is an inspiration to all.