Celebration is an annual festival at Snape Maltings which showcases the diverse music being made by young people across Suffolk.
Each year Celebration brings together over 1,200 performers from schools across the county, and for the first time this year, community groups for young people. Each evening is different and audiences can expect to hear every kind of music imaginable. All ages and abilities join together in this unique event, and we invite all to apply to take part. Please note, priority will go to state funded schools.
Click here to apply for a place in Celebration 2024.
Watch a film of the finale of Celebration 2023
Coming here today and seeing the reaction of the children when they first stood on the stage was fantastic. Celebration has been really special – from having their own dressing room to the fabulous band and singing with other schools.
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The Celebration evening was wonderfully organised, presenters spot on. I was so proud my son was part of this.
Parent and audience member
The theme for 2020’s Celebration was A Vision for the Future.
The performances took place just before lockdown. When rehearsing the finale, 2020 Vision by Emily Barden, the young people recorded messages of hope which played out during the performance. Some of their messages, such as “I’m excited to travel”, “I’m excited to see what 2020 might bring”, and “end racism”, were especially poignant given the events that followed.
In 2019 Sarah Jewell, composer, vocalist and conductor, returned to Snape with her fourth commission for young voices: A Glass of Water. She is the founder/director of London based Songlines International Choir and has composed for singers and choirs worldwide.
In 1993 The United Nations set up World Water Day, held every year on March 22nd, to promote the protection of the world’s most precious resource. The theme for World Water Day 2019 is ‘leaving no one behind’ in recognition of the fact that the world’s poorest communities suffer most severely from a lack of fresh water. A Glass of Water explores this 2019 theme.
Sarah was joined by a fantastic team of musicians: Rory Mcleod (guitar, vocals, harmonica), Bernhard Schimplesberger (percussion), Davide Mantovani (double bass), Diane Leak (vocals), Kate Adams (viola).
2018’s Celebration finale was composed and led by Aga Serugo-Lugo. He based “Falling Star” on a Suffolk myth focused on an impromptu horse ride from Suffolk to London, which evokes the feelings of total liberation we experience when we sing.
Our heroine rides, wind in her hair, with utter abandon through the lunar-light; and as she soars through that night sky her imagination takes her around the world: from the beguiling tones of China, through the tearing afrobeat of Uganda, from the carnival-loving samba sounds of Brazil, to the funky beats of the USA; all taking us right back to bonny old Albion, ending the piece with an ethereal chorale in Old English.
In 2017, for the 30 year anniversary of the event we commissioned a finale from award-winning composer, lyricist and vocalist Gwyneth Herbert. Her lyrical content came from the present and future, asking each performer to make three wishes: one for themselves, one for someone they love and one for the world.