Harry Christophers CBE

A Letter to the Editor

by Harry Christophers CBE

15 May 2023

Sir – the UK's world renowned choral tradition was witnessed by millions at the Coronation last weekend. The performance of music to this exceptional standard is an extraordinary cultural and artistic achievement. It is the result of phenomenally hard work by thousands of people over days and weeks in choirs, churches and cathedrals across the country. The infrastructure, skills and knowledge behind its production would be almost impossible to replicate if lost.

We have a King who adores classical music - but it's not just support that's required. Much more important is the need for this government to take the arts seriously - to realise they are not only for special occasions, Christmas or the Last Night of the Proms.

The Government needs to invest in the arts properly, funding them in all state schools through primary and secondary education. They are as essential as maths and the sciences. Recent cuts by Arts Council England and the BBC have been brutal and ill-advised, while cathedral music receives no regular public funding. The arts are a profession not a hobby. Politicians should listen up. 

Choral music needs all the support it can get. Cathedral Music Trust and its friends are doing everything they can to plug the gap in provision and funding. I hope the Coronation can inspire young musicians and motivate all of us who love music to support our amazing local choirs, churches and cathedrals - and help Cathedral Music Trust and all who enjoy this music to sustain this extraordinary tradition. 

Harry Christophers CBE

President, Cathedral Music Trust
Founder and conductor, The Sixteen
Sevenoaks, Kent

Originally published in the Daily Telegraph on 12 May 2023.

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