We were delighted to receive further funding from Snape Maltings (formerly Aldeburgh Music) to run a second singing project with local schools. This follows on from our previous Friday Afternoons project in 2017 which saw local school children sing the music of Jonathan Dove as part of the international singing project which started in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten.
This year, Ellie Martin, our Youth Choir Director, engaged with local school children to teach songs by Luke Styles and Nico Muhly and develop creative responses to these songs in preparation for a final
sharing event at the Cathedral. The project began with an interative Continuing Professional
Development session for school teachers who were then able to observe Ellie ‘in action’ as she worked with our Cathedral Youth Choir - highlighting excellent approaches to choral leading and how to introduce contemporary music to young singers (with remarkable ease). Each school then received a singing workshop in which to learn a song of their choice and put together their own creative response.
Due to heavy snow-fall and the resulting school closures, our sharing event on Friday 2 March was postponed and rescheduled to Friday 23 March when pupils from St Margaret Clitherow, Seely Primary, and Park Vale Academy came together to share their performances to an appreciative audience of family and friends. The informal concert finished with a performance (from memory) of ‘Old Abram Brown’, one of Britten’s original Friday Afternoons songs, which Ellie taught to the children just moments before the concert.
We are grateful to the staff and students of these schools for engaging so deeply with the project and hope to continue working with local schools to provide opportunities for youth music making at the Cathedral.