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Cathedral Music Trust gives £400k boost with focus on children and young people

10 June 2022

Nigel Cull

Arundel Cathedral Choristers, directed by Dr Elizabeth Stratford, sing at the Canine Partners Carol Service, last December

Arundel Cathedral Choristers, directed by Dr Elizabeth Stratford, sing at the Canine Partners Carol Service, last December

CHILDREN and young people from a wide range of backgrounds are the focus of this year’s grants from the Cathedral Music Trust (CMT). A total of £400,000 has been awarded to choral foundations in the UK to enable them to work with their communities and give young people the opportunity to experience the benefits of participating in cathedral music.

The Trust said that it was encouraged by the commitment of choral foundations to develop talent through education and engagement programmes for choristers.

Initiatives that the funding will support include Leicester Cathedral Choir’s taking music into parishes in the diocese; Welsh-language choral scholars at Bangor Cathedral; a schools’ singing programme in Croydon; and voice coaching for young people at, among others, Arundel and Bradford Cathedrals, and St Wulfram’s, Grantham.

The chairman of the CMT, Peter Allwood, said: “Sacred choral music brings joy to people and life to our cathedrals, churches, and communities. This round of funding from Cathedral Music Trust will help develop the music-making in choral foundations that is deeply loved and admired by local communities and international audiences.”

Choristers at Arundel Cathedral come from eight schools in Arundel, Worthing, Angmering, Barnham, and Brighton. The Organist and Master of the Choristers of Music, Dr Elizabeth Stratford, said: “Individual time with an experienced vocal trainer gives our choristers and probationers the very best opportunity to realise their vocal potential, as well as building confidence with repertoire and performance challenges, and ultimately enables them to sing at their best.

“It is an investment in each child in return for the commitment they and their families make to music at the cathedral. We could never have considered this provision without a grant from Cathedral Music Trust, and we are so grateful for their continued support.”

Last year, the Trust awarded £445,500 in grants to help choral establishments to recover from the financial impact of lockdown (News, 21 May 2021).

The 22 recipients are: Bangor, Bradford, Carlisle, Coventry, Leicester, Portsmouth, St Davids, St Paul’s, Southwark, Truro, and Wakefield Cathedrals, Tewkesbury and Westminster Abbeys, HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, Croydon Minster, St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick, St Peter’s Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton, St Wulfram’s, Grantham, and the Roman Catholic cathedrals of Arundel, Leeds, Salford, and Westminster.

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