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Alphabet City: Music festival takes over Southampton as part of London 2012 Festival

  • Date: 28 February 2012
  • Area: South East

This weekend, everyone is invited to travel on an alphabetical musical journey across Southampton as part of the London 2012 cultural celebrations.

On Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March, musicians will take over Southampton to perform an unprecedented 26 hours of alphabetical music for Southampton’s Musical Alphabet (SMA) as part of Music Nation Weekend.

The festival is being coordinated by Arts Council England regularly funded organisation Turner Sims along with other Southampton partners including Southampton City Council and Art at the Heart.

Throughout the weekend, the city will come alive with a multitude of sounds as internationally renowned artists, local professionals, community groups and young people's ensembles join together to take us from A to Z in 26 hours. The weekend features three world premieres, over 50 events in 26 hours, performed by over 500 performers in 23 locations.

As part of a weekend of events led by the BBC and taking place across the UK, SMA will run from 10am to 11pm on Saturday and Sunday in Southampton, launching one letter of the alphabet each hour.

A is for Alphabet Fanfare..., a world premiere will launch SMA at Guildhall Square on Saturday at 10am. From then on, the city will come alive with a cacophony of sounds from bell ringing at the Church of the Ascension, Bitterne to karaoke at Southampton Solent Student Union and nursery rhymes at Eastpoint to tango at WestQuay.

After enjoying and taking part in the musical events across Southampton, audiences can curl up at home and listen to BBC Radio Solent on Sunday evening from 9pm as they close SMA with a Music Nation special.

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, said, ‘Arts Council England is delighted to be part of this exciting national celebration of music through our support of Turner Sims Southampton. Southampton will come alive as many different genres of music are performed across the city, and a diverse audience will be able to take part and contribute to this fantastic London 2012 Festival project as we take one step closer to 2012’s summer of cultural celebration.'

Susannah Simons, Project Executive, BBC 2012 Cultural Olympiad, says, ‘Music Nation is a nationwide celebration of the joy of music making, and Southampton's contribution is a wonderful demonstration of just that.’

For more information and to download a guide, please see http://www.turnersims.co.uk/musicalalphabet. You can also download a guide from our website.