The Cathedral Music Trust has announced that it has awarded a total of £400,000 in grants to support high-quality music provision at 22 choral foundations across the UK.
The 2022 grants programme was set up to sustain and expand the work of leading choirs within cathedrals and churches across the UK, enabling this world-renowned musical heritage to evolve and thrive, and to inspire future generations.
The grants reflect the determination of all those working in cathedral music to play their part in supporting the recovery of this centuries old tradition following the pandemic. The Trust has been encouraged by the commitment of choral foundations to sustain musical excellence in worship and develop future talent through chorister education and engagement programmes. These programmes are vital in ensuring choral foundations can further widen and diversify the pool from which choristers are recruited.
The past two years have seen the Trust adapt its grant-giving in response to the global pandemic, both through its own programmes and its involvement in the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund, which saw £1 million raised and distributed to help cathedral music recover from the devastating financial impact of lockdowns. In 2022, the Trust has awarded funding both to support the ongoing work of music departments and to help them flourish and grow by working together with their communities, giving children and young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to experience the many benefits of participating in cathedral music.
Among its 22 grants this year, the Trust will be supporting Leicester Cathedral Choir, as it shares its music in parishes across the diocese, Welsh-language choral scholars at St Deiniol’s Cathedral, Bangor, a dynamic new schools’ singing programme in Croydon and voice coaching for young people in several choirs, including Arundel Cathedral, Bradford Cathedral and St Wulfram’s Church, Grantham.
Peter Allwood, Chair of Cathedral Music Trust, 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.’
‘We are very aware of continued financial pressures on music across the UK’s cathedrals and churches, and as in previous years, we received more applications than we could fund. The Trust remains deeply committed to increasing support for all working in cathedral music, both through its funding programmes, and through advocacy and campaigning.’
Joe Cooper, Director of Music at St Deiniol’s Cathedral in Bangor, said: ‘In 2021 we became the first place of worship in Wales to hold regular choral services in the Welsh language. Our new choral scholars will help us to put Welsh on an equal footing with English in our music and better serve our community, where 80% are Welsh speakers. We are incredibly grateful to Cathedral Music Trust for making this a reality.’
Alex Patterson, Director of Music at Salford Cathedral said: ‘‘Salford Cathedral has undergone a musical renaissance since July 2020 and is now home to five choirs, offering a larger number of choral services. It is our ambition to establish a music department that becomes a centre of excellence for cathedral music in the North West. Cathedral Music Trust’s grant will fund our choral scholars and enable an organ associate to join the team, as well as help us to buy much-needed sheet music. Thanks to this support, music at Salford will go from strength to strength.’
Dr Elizabeth Stratford, Director of Music at Arundel Cathedral, 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.’
Dr Tim Williams, Director of Music at St Wulfram’s Grantham, said: ‘‘St Wulfram’s offers a thriving week-round programme of choral activity. We are particularly proud to give teenage boys and girls opportunities to continue singing with us having ‘graduated’ as choristers. The Cathedral Music Trust’s grant will help us fund additional members of the music department, including a voice coach, who will help train young musicians at our after-school singing clubs.’
Full list of awards