Make the most of Friday afternoons!

Historic opportunity for schools and choirs to take part in 'Friday Afternoons'

Friday AfternoonsAs thousands of young people across the world prepare to celebrate British composer Benjamin Britten's centenary on 22 November by singing his Friday Afternoons songs, schools, choirs and music groups across the UK are invited to join them in this remarkable, mass participation event.

Friday Afternoons is a cycle of 12 songs composed by Britten for the school where his brother was Headmaster. Composed between 1933 and 1935, Friday Afternoons is accessible, easy to sing, and accompanied by gloriously witty piano parts. Aldeburgh Music conceived the Friday Aftersnoons project to highlight Britten's extraordinary legacy of work for young people and to encourage more singing in schools. The aim is to get as many children and young people as possible across the UK singing Britten's Friday Afternoons songs on the same day, Friday 22 November 2013, the centenary of Britten's birth.

The project has already inspired hundreds of groups across the UK and the world to plan performances and live streamed events in places as widespread as Australia, Singapore, Greece, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and the USA. In the UK, Britten's Friday Afternoons songs for children will be performed in every region of England, as well as in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

All performances will take place during 24 hours across the world, from 00.00 GMT to 23.59 GMT on Friday 22 November.

Composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, an ambassador for Friday Afternoons, says: "This is a marvellous way to celebrate Benjamin Britten's centenary and to continue his wonderful work in encouraging children to make music."

Actress, Author and Politician, Floella Benjamin, an ambassador for Friday Afternoons, says: "It is vital that our children have the opportunity to sing. It promotes wellbeing and inspires creativity. This initiative to encourage as many young people as possible to sing, is a superb idea, it makes my heart sing."

Aldeburgh Music is supported by over 100 organisations including Britten-Pears Foundation, Boosey & Hawkes, the Royal Opera House, Opera North, Sage Gateshead, Symphony Hall, Brighton Festival, and local music education hubs and schools in making the Friday Afternoons project happen across the UK.

Free web resources

www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk offers scores and audio accompaniments for each song, as well as instrumental arrangements specially commissioned for this project. In addition, background information to the composer and his music is available, as well as lesson plans and teaching aids for each song. Interactive online resources from Charanga are also available - all completely free of charge.

Posted: Mon 30th September 2013

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