A group of local musicians will be taking to the streets of St Thomas for the Festival of St Thomas Stories.
The group is born from a tradition built over the past 18 years which sees a small group of neighbouring musicians bringing music to the streets of St Thomas on Christmas morning. Unrehearsed they bring out their instruments come rain or shine to play Christmas carols to friends, family, neighbours and passers-by. Over the years this has grown into a local tradition and every year the crowd grows and grows… a wonderful way to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas!”.
Having followed Theatre Alibi’s St Thomas Stories project the group felt it would be wonderful to bring this music to other streets in St Thomas. They were particularly struck by stories of the American Troupes stationed in Exeter during World War 2; due to American segregation laws Black GI’s were separated from White GI’s, and took camp in St Thomas, not allowed to cross Exe bridges. With them, the Black GI’s, brought the sound of Jazz and Blues, music that many locals had never heard before.
As part of the festival the group want to fill St Thomas with the sound of music, taking people back to a time when the Jazz scene exploded in the 1920s and 1930s and honouring the Black GI’s who served their local community and country.