Latest News and Updates

1 December 2016

It's been two weeks since the 2016 international culmination day for Friday Afternoons, and we're so delighted that so many groups from across the world decided to get involved on the day. Young and not-so-young people gathered in song to celebrate by singing selections from the Friday Afternoons Song Bank, and plenty of people have been uploading their events to the Who's Involved section of the website, and sending their videos to be uploaded to the Showcase.

At Snape Maltings we were lucky enough to be joined by this year's composer Jonathan Dove, who joined 800 children singing his compositions in the marvellous concert hall, established by the composer who inspired the whole project, Benjamin Britten.

BBC Radio 4's Front Row ran a feature on the project, which can still be listened to here. Jonathan Dove also wrote an excellent blog post for the day with his top tips on writing for children's voices - this can be read on the Guardian website.

If you held an event this year and haven't yet put a pin on our map, please do. If you have any recordings, send them in by emailing Below you can watch videos of some events that happened across the world!

Penylan House Residential Home
Residents of Penylan House Residential Home, Cardiff were treated to a visit from Live Music Now artists who led them in a session featuring music from the Friday Afternoons repertoire, supported by Gregynog Festival.

Normoyle Primary School, South Africa
Children from Normoyle Primary School in South Africa performed a selection of Friday Afternoons and traditional songs at a concert in the Missionvale Care Centre in Port Elizabeth.

Rutland Music Hub
A performance of the repertoire took place in Oakham School Chapel, marking the culmination of Rutland Music Hub's project with local primary school children.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall
The annual Big Sing held at Snape Maltings, home of Aldeburgh Music, with 800 pupils from Suffolk schools.

Young Norfolk Arts
Students from schools in Great Yarmouth and the Young Norfolk Chorus came together to join in the national celebrations and sing Friday Afternoons songs at the Wharf Academy.

Thanks to all those who took part in the day of celebrations and for supporting the Friday Afternoons project.

17 November 2016

Tomorrow, Friday 18th November 2016, Friday Afternoons celebrates another year of the project with groups of people across the country. Our annual culmination day sees performances of the repertoire around the world on the Friday closest to Benjamin Britten’s birthday.

The home of the Friday Afternoons project is Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and tomorrow we will be hosting our annual Big Sing event, bringing together almost 800 children from Suffolk to sing this year’s set of songs, written by Jonathan Dove with lyrics by Alasdair Middleton.

Each year we stream a small number of performances on our website, so that more people from around the world can enjoy the global celebrations. Tomorrow we have three live streams on our website, which you’ll be able to watch here:

11:00am (GMT) Normoyle Primary School (Missionvale), Port Elizabeth, South Africa (supported by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
12:00pm Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk
3:30pm Penylan House Residential Home, Cardiff (supported by Live Music Now and Gregynog Festival)

Please do watch these streams and let us know if you’re joining in. We’ll be tweeting all day @FridayPMs.

Other performances around the country include the Young Norfolk Arts Chorus in Great Yarmouth, Presteigne Festival in Wales, Rutland Music Hub’s concert at Oakham Chapel, St Peters Middle School in Old Windsor and St Paul’s C of E Primary School, Addlestone.

We know that many more groups across the country are joining in, so don’t forget to add your own pin to the map on our website:

We hope that you enjoy the day and have a chance to watch some of the celebrations live or online. Best of luck to all those taking part in events tomorrow – thank you for joining our world of song!

3 November 2016

Friday Afternoons is delighted to have been nominated for the Best Musical Initiative Award at the 2017 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence. The winners will be announced on 9 February 2017 and will be chosen by an experienced panel of judges.

Sponsored by the Royal Marines Band Service, the award recognises initiatives that have made a sustained contribution to the musical achievement of a significant number of people.

Shortlists for each of the awards can be viewed here:

7 October 2016

The deadline for this year's Project Fund is only two weeks away.

The fund, made possible by a grant from Arts Council England, enables you to apply for up to £2,000 support for your own Friday Afternoons project.

This month we have approved two further applications, making a total of six organisations who are receiving support so far:

- West Sussex Music Trust is working with 12 schools in Crawley, giving each a Friday Afternoons song to explore and a genre to adapt the song into; 
- Young Norfolk Arts Trust is working with choirs in Great Yarmouth and Norfolk to create a performance of the Friday Afternoons songs on 18th November; 
- David Ashworth is creating online training materials for this year's Friday Afternoons Songs;
- Saffron Hall is developing a vocal programme for schools in Braintree, and a project focused on creative response for schools in Uttlesford;
- Sectio Aurea is using the Friday Afternoons songs to build a term's worth of work with year 7 students at the new International Academy of Greenwich;
- Rutland Music Hub is delivering workshops in low-engagement primary schools, focussing on healthy vocal technique.

For more information and to apply, please click here.