Find your voice, increase your wellbeing and confidence, and celebrate your individual and collective identity by taking part in this year’s Big Sing, live from Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

Britten Pears Arts is inviting schools across Suffolk to celebrate singing together again on Friday 19 November.

After a year where singing has been more restricted, Naveen Arles and Charlotte Brosnan will unite children across Suffolk in song. This project will take inspiration from the Friday Afternoons Song Bank, featuring some favourites from the project along with some of the newest songs by Russell Hepplewhite, with lyrics by former children’s laureate Michael Rosen.

Schools are invited to learn a selection of songs to sing in their schools at 12:30pm on Big Sing day and take part in a live-streamed interactive workshop to refine the songs before the big moment. In the lead up to the event teachers are invited to take part in a CPD session and all schools taking part will be offered an in-school workshop from the Big Sing musical leaders.

A small group of schools will be invited to Snape Maltings Concert Hall on the day to be the live example choir for the online streamed event. If you would like to be part of this group, please let us know on your application form.

What would it involve?

  • Attending a free teacher CPD event on Thursday 4 November
  • An optional visit to your school by the Big Sing team on 10/11/12 November
  • Learning up to 6 songs from the Friday Afternoons Song Bank in preparation for the event
  • Taking part in the workshops and Big Sing moment from the comfort of your school by tuning in online between 11:30am and 1pm on Friday 19 November

A note about COVID 19:

  • In line with Music Mark’s Music Unlocked guidance, sessions will be no longer than 40 minutes in length and include break times between sessions for ventilation.
  • To mitigate risks of transmission, we will only invite a small number of schools to be part of the live choir at Snape Maltings Concert Hall on the day. All schools are welcome to participate in the CPD and schools visits, and take part in the final event online.

What you’ll need:

In order to take part you will need a suitable space for your students to sing in on the day, with good internet access and a screen/sound system. Britten Pears Arts will provide a link to join the event. Unfortunately we are unable to assist with in-school technical setup.

On The Day
Arrive at Snape Maltings Concert Hall*
11:30 Workshop
12:10 Break
12:30 The Big Sing
13:00 Event finishes

*The start of the day is only relevant to the choir taking part in-person at Snape Maltings.

This event would be most suited for those between year 3 – year 8.

Key dates

  • 11 October – Deadline for Applications
  • 4 November – Afterschool CPD for teachers
  • 10/11/12 November – School visits from Charlotte and Naveen
  • 19 November – Big Sing at Snape Maltings + live stream for online participants

If you would like any more information or have any questions, please email

Please note if you are taking part in-person you will need to provide your own transport to/from Snape Maltings.

Apply to take part with your school now using our online application form. Deadline for applications 11 October.

Click here to open the online application form

About the leaders

Naveen Arles

Biography tbc

Charlotte Brosnan

Charlotte has been a soloist in many of the world’s prestigious concert venues including The Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Marks (Venice), Disney Hall (LA), National Concert Hall (Taipei) and sung at the FA Cup final and Six Nations rugby games. Charlotte recorded the Grammy Award winning Album, ‘Light and Gold,’ with the world-renowned composer Eric Whitacre. Until recently, Charlotte was a full-time member of Apollo5, an international award-winning vocal quintet that perform all around the world each year, mixing classical music with jazz, pop and contemporary composition. Through her work with Apollo5, Charlotte travelled around the world and the UK delivering workshops and facilitating education projects.

Charlotte enjoys a wide variety of teaching responsibilities for various schools and national organisations, namely The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, The Voices Foundation, London Youth Choir, The Bach Choir and Kingston Grammar School and was recently Choral Director at the City of London School for Girls. She is Musical Director for Landmark Sound, Teddington and Monumental Choir, Ba​lham which she recently set up. She is in demand as a workshop leader, presenter and adjudicator and recently presented at the Music and Drama Expo and the ABCD annual conference. Charlotte is a Community Ambassador for Britten-Pears Arts.

Watch the 2018 event

On Friday 16 November, 800 young people from 24 schools across Suffolk gathered in Snape Maltings Concert Hall to take part in the Big Sing, led by Charles MacDougall, Charlotte Brosnan and Sally Egan.

Joined and accompanied by the composer herself, this year we sang through Errollyn Wallen‘s commissions for Friday Afternoons: MAP: Songs for Children Everywhere. In the lead up to this event, teachers from all schools attended training events on quality singing, and each school received a visit from the Big Sing team.

Watch the 2017 event

The 2017 Big Sing at Snape Maltings was led by 15 musicians from the Voces Cantabiles Music Foundation, including internationally renowned a cappella ensembles VOCES8 and Apollo5 plus their scholars.

800 students from 21 schools across Suffolk, including primary, high and special schools participated in massed singing activity at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, in the year of its 50th anniversary, performing songs from the Song Bank including pieces by Luke Styles, Jonathan Dove (2016), Nico Muhly (2015), Gwyneth Herbert, Jason Yarde (2014) and Benjamin Britten’s original songs. In addition, the event saw performances by the professionals and workshops in breakout spaces, using the Friday Afternoons resources as a starting point and encouraging young people to respond creatively.