‘Britain in Song’ School Workshops

Britain in Song is a new secular choral music festival which has been established in York by Music undergraduate Naomi Taylor. I am delighted to be working with pupils from The Mount Junior and Secondary Schools to create musical responses to 17 Days, one of two works that will close the festival in a live performance on Sunday 16th March.

Packed with events, workshops and performances suitable for all ages and abilities, the festival culminates in a three-day Finale Weekend on Friday 14th-Sunday 16th March. Events will include a concert by The 24, a “Come and Sing” with Jonathan Willcocks, and workshops with The Clerks.

The final festival event is a multimedia Gallery Installation and Evening Performance of two recent British large-scale choral works: Orlando Gough’s Ice and James McCarthy’s 17 Days.

In six Composition workshops, six groups of pupils from Year 9 classes will compose and record 6 pieces responding to 17 Days, a 35-minute work exploring the experience of the 33 Chilean miners and their families involved in the San Jose mine collapse in 2010. The pieces play through speakers spread around the Atrium of the University of York’s Ron Cooke Hub, allowing the audience to move freely around the Atrium to hear the Secondary school pupils’ pieces blend with soundscapes created by the Junior schoolchildren.

Artwork responses by children from other local schools will be on display too, whilst responses by dancers from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance will feature alongside a full live performance of 17 Days at 6pm, by Albarosa with University of York students and conductor Timothy Ferguson.

The workshops got off to a great start before half term, with both Secondary school classes coming up with some very exciting musical ideas for their pieces. You’ll have to be there at 5.30pm on Sunday 16th March to hear the results!

Click here to see a full schedule of the festival, including the Finale Weekend.