On Friday 18th November 2016, young people from around the world took part in performances to mark the Friday closest to Benjamin Britten’s birthday. The project, Friday Afternoons, is run by Aldeburgh Music and was originally conceived as part of Britten’s Centenary celebrations, with the initial aim of encouraging children and young people to sing. Since 2013, there have been more than 80,000 participants.
This year, the songs were specially written for the project by Jonathan Dove with commissioned texts by Alasdair Middleton. In the months leading up to the performance, children from across Norfolk had been learning and rehearsing the songs in their schools and with The Wharf Academy. Then, on the afternoon of Friday 18th November they joined together at Great Yarmouth Minster in an outstanding performance to a 120-strong audience, conducted by William Drew-Batty and accompanied by Will Fergusson. The schools involved were: Thorpe House, Notre Dame High, Poringland Primary, Taverham Hall Prep, Sheringham Primary, Trowse Primary, St Francis of Assisi Primary, Edward Worlledge Primary & Woodlands Primary.
This project was made possible in Norfolk thanks to funds from Norfolk Music Hub & Young Norfolk Arts Trust, who were awarded a project fund from Friday Afternoons, made possible by a grant from Arts Council England.