Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare!

Shakespeare’s birthday celebrated with the release of music video.

The Everything to Everybody Project is celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday today with the release of a specially commissioned birthday music video: Like to the Lark.

Funded by History West Midlands, the Like to the Lark music and video has been created by the Ex Cathedra Education Team. Written by Dan Ludford-Thomas, it will be released as Birmingham’s birthday present to Shakespeare.

Inspired by the Bard, the Shakespeare Memorial Library at the Library of Birmingham and the progressive values of George Dawson and the Everything to Everybody Project, Like to the Lark is a song of freedom and solidarity. It resonates especially as the project seeks to unlock the Shakespeare Collection and our city begins to shake off the restrictions of the national lockdown.

Professor Ewan Fernie, Everything to Everybody Project Director said: “It’s wonderful to be working with Ex Cathedra on this new song for Shakespeare and the city. We hope Like to the Lark will initiate a new, Birmingham-based celebration of both Shakespeare’s birthday and the city’s distinctively democratic Shakespeare heritage.”

Rebecca Ledgard, Director of Education for Ex Cathedra said, “This year’s special Singing Playgrounds project enables children to share their own singing-play songs and create new ones in response to the Library of Birmingham’s great Shakespeare collection. As we come out of lockdown this year, it is particularly important to feel the well-being effects of singing with friends.

“Our Like to the Lark music video is our response to a whole year of the pandemic. It’s inspired by the publicly shared culture of Birmingham’s historic Shakespeare library: ‘let’s all live in harmony!’.”

The Everything to Everybody Project is an ambitious celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural assets: the Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library – the first great Shakespeare library in the world, and the only great Shakespeare collection which belongs to all the people of a city.

A collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands Everything to Everybody will give this uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to people and communities across Birmingham.

To achieve this, Everything to Everybody is working in conjunction with anchor institutions and grassroots organisations across Birmingham, supporting, inspiring and championing many brilliant projects such as Like to the Lark.

Based in Birmingham, Ex Cathedra is a leading UK choir with award-winning and extensive education programme for schools: excathedra.co.uk.

Ex Cathedra’s education team have created a special Singing Playgrounds programme for Birmingham’s primary schools. Their online programme with interactive singing films and series of lesson plans for class teachers will enable children to share and create their own singing-play and playground songs in their own school playgrounds. You can sign up at Singing Playgrounds.

Watch and listen to Like to the Lark on the Everything to Everybody Project You Tube channel or tune into the Everything to Everybody Project’s social media platforms. Find out more at everythingtoeverybody.bham.ac.uk.