Based on the song cycle, Friday Afternoons by Benjamin Britten, A Song for Haddo was the exciting culmination of the 2017 Haddo Arts Festival outreach programme, and the first collaboration between Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland (McOpera) and Haddo Arts.
Moira Morrison, McOpera composer and vocal animateur, worked with over 120 local primary school pupils and their teachers using Kodaly-inspired vocal techniques.
Six of Benjamin Britten’s Friday Afternoon songs were accompanied by a string ensemble formed of local high school string students from Meldrum Academy, Ellon Academy and Inverurie Academy, in an orchestration by Peter Kemp. The young string players were mentored by 3 of McOpera’s professional orchestral musicians, who played alongside the students, led by Katie Hull and assisted by local string specialists.
As a key component of the project, Haddo Arts commissioned a new song as part of the Friday Afternoons project – ‘A Song for Haddo’.
Composed by Moira Morrison with input and ideas from the children, this took inspiration from the local area and children’s experience of living in Aberdeenshire, and was performed with piano accompaniment played by Jeremy Coleman.
Friday Afternoons was conceived as part of the celebrations to mark the Centenary of the birth of the composer, Benjamin Britten, by Snape Maltings (formerly Aldeburgh Music) with the initial aim of encouraging children and young people to sing.
Photograph copyright Simon Ovenden
Performed at Haddo House 12th October 2017
in conjunction with Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland (McOpera Outreach)
and Snape Maltings.
Moira Morrison: Composer, conductor and vocal coach
Peter Kemp: Orchestrator
McOpera String Ensemble: Katie Hull, Aline Gow, Sarah Neil
Pupils from Barthol Chapel, Daviot, New Deer, Pitfour, Pitmedden and Tarves Schools
Students from Ellon, Inverurie and Meldrum Academies
Piano: Jeremy Coleman
Sue Baxendale: McOpera Outreach Project Manager