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The Pankhurst Anthem

Women in Music – The Pankhurst Anthem

To commemorate 100 years of women suffrage, we are encouraging performances of The Pankhurst Anthem on Make Music Day.

On 6 February 1918, a ground-breaking Act of Parliament allowed some women in the United Kingdom to vote for the first time. Although it would be another ten years before all UK women could vote on the same terms as men, it was a momentous step on the road to voting equality.

100 years later, BBC Radio 3 is marking this important centenary of women’s suffrage with a special commission. They have joined forces with two descendants of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst to produce a new choral work that singers from around the country are invited to perform.

The Pankhurst Anthem

Composer Lucy Pankhurst has written a beautiful choral setting for a text by the activist and writer Helen Pankhurst, based on a powerful address given by her famous great-grandmother, Emmeline.

The Pankhurst Anthem is comprised of two sections. The first, Echoes of Emmeline, adapts words by Emmeline Pankhurst to reflect on the suffragettes’ struggle to be enfranchised. The second section, Anthem, is more upbeat in tone and explores the modern repercussions of the suffrage movement.

Choirs are invited to perform the work throughout 2018, and we’d love Make Music Day to feature some performances of this inspiring and rousing piece as part of our Women in Music theme.

Arrangements for full choir (SATB), women’s voices (SSAA) and solo or small groups (melody and chords) can be downloaded from the BBC Radio 3’s website here.

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