Classical Music

Just in: Canterbury surrenders to equality – SlippediscSlippedisc

norman lebrecht

February 13, 2023

Message from the martyred Thomas a Becket’s cathedral:

Today (Monday 13 February 2023), The Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral, together with the Director of Music David Newsholme, have announced that from September 2023, membership of the Boys’ Choir will be open to children from any school with compulsory boarding no longer being a requirement to be in the choir.

The Cathedral is committed to progressing equality and inclusion throughout the establishment and this change ensures that both the Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs are on an equal footing, whilst cementing the future and quality of the choir and music-making within the church. The boy choristers (aged 8-13) and girl choristers (aged 12-18) will each sing three services a week and will be able to attend any local school giving families both flexibility and choice.

Harry Christophers CBE, former chorister of Canterbury Cathedral and founder and conductor of The Sixteen, said: ‘I am very much indebted to the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral for the incredible experience it gave me as a chorister back in the 1960s. It instilled in me a passion for music, and, without doubt, I would not be where I am today without that opportunity. I came from a very humble background and without the inclusive recruitment policy that was practised during my tenure, my parents would not have had the means to fund compulsory private schooling, nor would they have wished me to board making joining the choir an impossibility. I am very much in support of this move to enable children from a diverse range of backgrounds to experience the many benefits that come from being a chorister.’

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