Today, from sunrise to sunset, the whole nation is celebrating its love of music in the first ever BBC Music Day. Professional orchestras and chamber groups are joining forces with pop acts, choirs and music enthusiasts from all walks of life.
One of the most anticipated performances has been a musical relay that spans the entire 73 miles of Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrian’s Wall of Sound began this morning and is expected to feature around 600 musicians, from opera singers to hip-hop artists. The music-making will continue throughout the day before a triumphant finale at Wallsend in the early evening.
The day of events includes performances in a wide variety of locations, from Cardiff Castle and Glasgow’s City Halls to a former Belfast gaol and underneath the Tyne Bridge, with all the music covered extensively by the BBC.
At Bristol’s Colston Hall there is a concert for performers with special educational needs and disabilities who are performing alongside musicians from The British Paraorchestra, conducted by Charles Hazlewood. This concert is just one of the many community-based events that show how music should be accessible to all, regardless of age, background or disability.
Other events include a world record attempt at Cardiff’s Welsh Millennium Centre to set the greatest distance between people singing a duet, plus a spectacular performance by the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. Events will also be held in Bradford, Glasgow, Liverpool, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Walthamstow.
The BBC radio stations and television are joining forces to cover events throughout the day, with Radio 3 giving over most of the day’s schedule. Today’s Lunchtime Concert comes from Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh and features a performance by the Navarra Quartet.
For further BBC Music Day information visit www.bbc.co.uk/musicday
Neil McKim is the former Production Editor of BBC Music Magazine. He is now the production editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.