Tuesday 14 November 2023

Britten Pears Arts' Friday Afternoons celebrates its 10th anniversary with 10 new songs and an anniversary Big Sing

The Big Sing 2022 - Snape Maltings, November 2022 (Photo: Patrick Young / Britten Pears Arts)
The Big Sing 2022 - Snape Maltings, November 2022 (Photo: Patrick Young / Britten Pears Arts)

Friday Afternoons is the name Britten gave to a collection of songs that he wrote for his brother's prep school. Britten Pears Arts took the name for its singing project conceived as the culmination of the worldwide 2013 Britten centenary celebrations. Since 2013, a new collection of songs and additional resources has been made available annually, with Friday Afternoons projects being run in schools all around the UK and across the world.

To celebrate the project's 10th anniversary Britten Pears Arts is releasing a collection of ten commissioned songs for young people, focusing on a theme of identity and exploring the thoughts and experiences of young people today. Seven of the songs will be premiered as part of the Big Sing on 17 November 2023 on Britten Pears Arts' YouTube channel

The ten commissioned composers are Alice Zawadzki, Alexander Campkin, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Ben Parry, Charlotte Harding, CN Lester, Kerry Andrew, Roderick Williams, Shruthi Rajasekar and YolanDa Brown. All songs and resources from the 10th-anniversary collection will be available on the Friday Afternoons website. A new set of resources and pathways will launch in January 2024, inaugurating a program where music will be created and performed by young people, fostering a sense of ownership and pride in their musical creations.

The 10th-anniversary celebration of Friday Afternoons culminates in the Big Sing on Friday 17 November 2023 at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk, led by Jenny Trattles and Charles MacDougall. Young people from schools across the county will come together to form a massed choir and perform a selection of songs and the event will be live streamed on the Britten Pears Arts' YouTube channel.

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