Pankhurst writes anthem celebrating women’s vote

PhD composition student, Lucy Pankhurst has written a choral work to mark 100 years since women won the right to vote.

Commissioned by the BBC, Lucy, a distant relative of the famous family, worked alongside Emmeline’s great-granddaughter, the writer and women’s rights campaigner Helen Pankhurst, to create the Pankhurst Anthem.

Taking inspiration from a famous Pankhurst speech delivered in 1913 at Hartford, Connecticut, the piece received a partial première on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday 6 February (the centenary of the passing of the key Representation of the People Act) by a choir conducted by RNCM alumnus Michael Betteridge, before its full release on BBC Radio 3’s website.

Lucy said: ‘Working with Helen has been such a wonderful experience…The stirring words, derived from those of Emmeline, are so powerfully emotive – setting them to music was a very humbling experience.’

To enable amateur choirs to get involved, vocal scores of the piece will be made available to download free of charge from the BBC Radio 3 website.

Audiences will also be invited to join the amateur choir Voices of Hope to perform the complete work on the opening day of the station’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead on Friday 9 March.

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25 January 2018