Gallery: School choir celebrates Britten anniversary

Britten choir

Britten choir - Credit: Mike Kwasniak Photography

TWO hundred pupils from an Ipswich independent school have celebrated the centenary of Benjamin Britten in style with a special concert in Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

The choir and orchestra from Ipswich School performed the Britten cantata Saint Nicolas as the second half of the school’s annual spring concert.

The performance was a fitting tribute to one of Suffolk’s greatest composers, as members of the Ipswich School Preparatory Boys’ Choir had sung on the original recording of the piece in 1955, directed by Britten himself.

Acclaimed tenor and Old Ipswichian Richard Edgar-Wilson joined the musicians on stage as the tenor soloist.

The same evening saw the unveiling of the new name for the Ipswich School music department. As a tribute to Suffolk’s most famous musical son in his centenary year, the department is now the Britten Faculty of Music.


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The new name is thanks to Mr Edgar-Wilson and member of the New Music School campaign committee Edmond Fivet, who were able to secure agreement from the Britten Pears Foundation to use Britten’s name.

Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said: “We are honoured that the Britten Foundation has recognised the excellence of music at Ipswich School by permitting us to use Britten’s name in this way.

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“We were also delighted to welcome Britten’s nephew, Alan Britten, to the spring concert for the launch of the new name, and to listen to the St Nicolas performance.

“The whole evening was a great success and is testament to the hard work and hours of practice put in by both students and staff.”

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