BBC Radio 3 has announced a Pankhurst Anthem to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
The Pankhurst Anthem is a choral work with music by composer Lucy Pankhurst and text by women’s rights activist and writer, Helen Pankhurst, based on words by her great-grandmother Emmeline.
The composition will be performed on the date of the 100th anniversary itself on BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast programme, 30 on 30.
Written to be performed in two parts, Echoes of Emmeline is followed by Anthem, which features an uplifting melody designed to be easily learnt, sung by any number of voices and especially composed with the view to encouraging music-lovers across the UK to perform the piece themselves to mark the anniversary year together.
To enable audience participation and involvement, vocal scores of The Pankhurst Anthem will be available to download free of charge from the BBC Radio 3 website from Tuesday 6 February.
Audiences are encouraged to send BBC Radio 3 photographs of themselves, learning and performing the work, and to share recordings via social media.
BBC Radio 3 will invite audiences to join amateur choir Voices of Hope for a performance of the complete work on the opening day of the station’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead on Friday 9 March, broadcast live on Radio 3.
Helen Pankhurst said, “I am delighted to have been involved in Radio 3’s commission for the centenary of the vote.”
“The piece that Lucy and I have created has a component reflecting on the struggle a hundred years ago, using Emmeline’s words as inspiration.”
“The second part is an upbeat anthem, taking us forward, with community choirs encouraged to take part.”
“It’s been a privilege to be part of such an inspiring initiative.”
Lucy Pankhurst, Composer said, “I am absolutely honoured to have been asked to create the music for the Pankhurst Anthem.”
“Working with Helen has been such a wonderful experience.”
“Her stirring words, derived from those of Emmeline Pankhurst, are so powerfully emotive – setting them to music was a very humbling experience.”