On Thursday 24th November, in celebration of Benjamin Britten’s birthday, fourteen of our scholars accompanied by three members of staff, followed a Britten Tour around the local area in recognition of Britten’s life and achievements. The first stop was The Red House in Aldeburgh where Britten lived with his partner Peter Pears from 1957-1976. Our scholars were treated to a tour of the property, now owned by the Britten-Pears Foundation, and were able to examine many of Britten’s possessions. Dr. Lucy Walker, the BPF’s Director of Learning, was on-hand to provide a detailed insight into Britten’s life and his compositions. The visit concluded with a recital of a piece for piano written about Lowestoft by Britten, played on his own Steinway. The tour also incorporated a visit to Aldeburgh beach to see the famous ‘Scallop’ memorial to Britten, designed by Maggi Hambling in 2003, and Snape Maltings, which Britten had converted to a concert hall in the 1970s. A pause to lay flowers at Britten’s grave in Aldeburgh churchyard followed. The tour concluded with a stop at Britten’s birthplace in Lowestoft and St. Margaret’s church where he performed his first community opera, Noye’s Fludde.
On Friday 25th November, in recognition of our namesake’s birthday, the school celebrated Britten Day 2016. A broad and exciting range of events was held across the school to celebrate the incredible achievements of Lowestoft’s most famous son, who would have turned 103 this year. Lessons were individually tailored to reflect the impact that Britten had on the world of music, with some fascinating lessons being proffered. Some notable contributions came from the mathematics department, where the link between music, angles, and fractions was explored; also from science, where the impact of sound and music on the brain were examined. Splendid and imaginative lessons were also hosted by art, computing science, English, humanities and music. Our thanks and appreciation are extended to all departments and staff who helped to make the day a great success. Ultimately, Britten Day aims to reinforce the importance of Britten not just for the school, but also for the town and for twentieth century classical music as a whole. For more information about Britten and his music, please visit www.brittenpears.org.