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Composing for Childrens' Voices Residency

31 January 2017

On 19th and 20th January 2017, Snape Maltings welcomed six composition students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for a residency hosted by Friday Afternoons on Composing for Childrens' Voices.

During their time in the peaceful surroundings of Snape Maltings, the students were fully submerged in the world of Benjamin Britten, visiting all the spaces surrounding his fantastic concert hall and also paying a visit to his home at The Red House in Aldeburgh.

The focus of the residency was of course on composition, and a masterclass led by Luke Styles equipped the students with the tools they need for writing an excellent children’s song. Time spent analysing Britten’s repertoire for children, including Friday Afternoons, proved extremely valuable and an exercise in setting short excerpts and sharing them with peers gave an excellent insight into what it is like to compose for young people.

Aurora Nishevci found the session with Luke Styles useful: “I find that looking through scores and talking about what works is very helpful. I also liked writing a short rough piece and teaching it to my peers, I found it to be a good exercise.”

Rotem Sherman was equally inspired by the place: “I got so much inspiration just by visiting Aldeburgh, seeing its beautiful scenery and following Britten’s story and music. I think both Snape Maltings and Friday Afternoons in particular are exciting projects that are worth knowing as musicians, as they give a very inspiring idea of what role composers could have in their communities, and how they could keep creating and staying relevant to their surroundings.”

All students are now working hard on their own songs for childrens' voices, with a text written specifically for them by Alan McKendrick. These songs will soon be available on the Friday Afternoons website for all the world to sing.

Read Luke Styles’ blog on his website here.