‘Our Future in Your Hands’ and Manchester Camerata in Music Teacher Magazine

Local schools join musicians from the RNCM and NCO for a resounding call to arms on the climate crisis.

BIF’s especially commissioned oratorio featured recently in Music Teacher, a magazine aimed at sharing the latest news and resources in music education.

The article focused on composer Kate Whitley’s thoughts on working with young people. In an interview with Gerry Northam, a familiar face to BIF through his interviewing for the Books Festival, she said young people ‘are going to inherit a world that is at risk… So this can be a really powerful message‘.

Our Future in Your Hands premiered last September in London, and will be performed in Buxton this summer with the talents of children from eight local schools and singing groups.

Especially commissioned by Buxton International Festival along with the Royal Over-Seas League, Kate Whitley and Laura Attridge’s oratorio is a powerful exploration of the response of young people to the perceived lack of action against climate change. Inspired by global movements such as Greta Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate, the piece examines the climate crisis from a variety of perspectives, including that of an astronaut looking back on the Earth.

Giving voice to their generation’s determination are children from Platform 3 Singing Club, Fairfield Endowed Junior School, Peak Dale Primary School, Buxton Community School, St. Philip Howard Catholic Voluntary Academy, St. Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, Tinderbox Performing Arts and Tintwhistle Primary School. The oratorio, with two choirs representing the children of today and the children of the future, also features three soloists from the Buxton Festival Company, and an orchestra made up of musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music and mentors from the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

Also featured in Music Teacher magazine recently was an article on Manchester Camerata’s Hidden Histories project, collaborating with Manchester-based composer Lavender Rodriguez to teach young people about overlooked and underrepresented composers. Manchester Camerata will appear at BIF this summer, where they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with a concert featuring the Brodsky Quartet and saxophonist Jess Gillam – find out more here.

Our Future in Your Hands also received press coverage in The Arts Desk and the Guardian; the Guardian described it as ‘angry‘ and ‘galvanised‘ while The Arts Desk praised the ‘oceanic, rhythmic liveliness‘ of Kate Whitley’s composition, adding that the piece ‘should work in resonant ecclesiastical spaces around the country‘. It’s fitting, then, that the oratorio will find its Buxton home in St. John’s Church, where the acoustics will be complemented by the beautiful setting.


Our Future in Your Hands will be performed on Sunday 10th July and Sunday 17th July at 6pm in St. John’s Church. Tickets are available here.