The Bath Festival: Schools Commission

Each year we co-create a new performance piece with schools and community groups which opens The Bath Festival as part of Party in the City. The participants work with different musicians, composers, choreographers and artists, who weave together the participants ideas and creations into a celebratory piece that’s shared with families, friends and our community in our city’s magnificent venues and spaces.

2019 – Pitch Invasion

Pitch Invasion was created in 2019 by Omar Shahryar and Deepraj Singh in collaboration with Roundhill Primary School, St Michael’s Junior Church School and Action on Hearing Loss Educational Day Services. The piece was a celebration of football, and it explored how it can unify us and break us; the pride we hold of belonging to a team and the admiration we have for each other. The premiere performance was held at Twerton Park, thanks to the support of Bath City FC, and a second performance took place outside the Abbey to an audience of friends, family, the local community and passing tourists who got to share in our celebrations.

2018 – Festival Spirits

In 2018 we celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the festival with Festival Spirits, a piece created by composer Richard Barnard and artist Edwina Bridgeman in collaboration with children from Bathwick St Mary, St Andrews and St Stephen’s Primary Schools. The mini-opera was inspired by the huge Bath Festival archive at Bath Records Office and focused on unexpected, forgotten moments of the festival as well as the children’s responses to the archive. The piece began with a recreation of a recital from the 1983 festival by soprano Elizabeth Karani and pianist Ella O’Neill, which was disrupted by children inhabiting characters from past festivals and imagining festivals of the future.

2017 – Wild Voices

In 2017, composer Richard Barnard and artist Edwina Bridgeman worked with children from  Selwoood Academy, Threeways  School and Westfield Primary School to create Wild Voices, which explored the architecture of Abbey through the eyes of wild creatures. You can hear what they created here:

2016 – Seize the Moment

In 2016, we worked with internationally acclaimed beatboxer Shlomo, who taught pupils to beatbox and inspired imaginative stories and songs that were woven together in an incredibly powerful show.

A big thank you to all those who have participated in and supported this annual project and made it such a highlight of the festival.

The Bath Festival: Family Arts Day

Family Arts Day is an annual event for families to get creative. We put up marquees in Parade Gardens, and invite artists, writers and musicians to fill those marquees with fun activities. Family Arts Day is about play and trying something new, children and grown-ups all having a go together.