Friday Afternoons is a Britten Pears Arts led singing project connecting teachers and young people with contemporary composers, through creating high quality repertoire, resources and training to encourage challenging and exciting music making experiences for all. The Friday Afternoons vision is for every young person to have access to high quality music experiences through using their voice.
Friday Afternoons is named after the set of songs composed by Benjamin Britten for the children at his brother’s prep school in Prestatyn, who always had a singing lesson on a Friday afternoon. It was one of Britten’s earliest examples of music that would be ‘useful’ to a particular community.
The current project began in 2013 as part of the celebrations for Benjamin Britten’s centenary. What was initially just a Suffolk project became regional, then national, then global, and on Friday 22 November 2013, there were close to 70,000 young people from around the world singing one or more of Britten’s songs.
Every year the Friday Afternoons project culminates in the Big Sing at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, with young people gathering to sing a selection of songs as part of a massed choir.