- More than 1,500 voices raised the roof at Celebration
- It was Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears’ vision to create a music and arts centre at Snape Maltings
What a wonderful week of music making!
More than 1,500 voices raised the roof at Celebration, a schools’ music-making festival at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, near Aldeburgh, in Suffolk.
The Lark Music team hired a house for the five-day event, from March 7-11, to fully immerse ourselves in the festival – meeting teachers, organisers and families who made the 30th-anniversary Celebration such a memorable occasion.
In fact, we were sad to leave ‘Lark Lodge’ and Aldeburgh, a quaint seaside town with pink, blue and yellow painted houses which stand out against a rather grey North Sea.
Colourful boats sat on glistening pebbles and at the north end of Aldeburgh beach, we found The Scallop, a sculpture created by local artist Maggi Hambling to commemorate composer Benjamin Britten who started the Aldeburgh Festival in the town's Jubilee Hall in 1948. The huge piece of art contains a quote from Britten’s opera Peter Grimes: ‘I hear those voices that will not be drowned’.
It was Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears’ vision to create a music and arts centre at Snape Maltings – and this week we witnessed their legacy first-hand. Musical education and working with young people is alive and well thanks to a partnership between Snape Maltings and Suffolk County Council.
The Lark Music team has been proud to support the Celebration festival and we really got caught up in the atmosphere of the region.
We left Suffolk realising is an extraordinary place for music: Britten, the UK’s greatest composer of the 20th century, was inspired by the coast (his operas include Peter Grimes, Albert Herring and Noye’s Fludde) and while we were in Aldeburgh, Suffolk-born singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s new album Divide became the fastest-selling album by a male artist in official chart history.
There’s definitely something in the air!
There are many more musical events to be enjoyed this year in Aldeburgh. From Good Friday, April 14 to Easter Sunday, April 16, Bach's great St John Passion will be given a dramatic chamber performance by Solomon's Knot; the Marmen Quartet will play meditative works by Bach, Beethoven and Philip Glass, while the Britten–Pears Orchestra will play under the baton of inspirational American conductor Marin Alsop.
Visit snapemaltings.co.uk for diary dates.
Children on stage in Snape Maltings hall - photo by Matt Jolly
An iconic sculpture, The Scallop, by Maggi Hambling on Aldeburgh beach. The sculpture is dedicated to Benjamin Britten.