Europe

Can Choir Outreach Sustain the Song?

Cathedral choristers begin singing in schools to stir new interest in an English church tradition.

Cathedral choristers in a diocese in southwest England are visiting primary schools to help children discover the lost joys of singing.

Headmaster Richard White of Polwhele House, the "feeder" school for boys for the Truro cathedral choir, has become alarmed that choral singing, once common in English primary schools, is "fast becoming something of a rarity."

White believes that choral singing is being driven out by pressures to concentrate on exam subjects and by the lack of funds for specialist teachers, leaving thousands of children deprived in what he described as a vital human area.

As chairman of the Choir Schools Association, White realized that he could do something to reverse the trend. He told ENI: "I thought we should be doing more to offer the inspiration of singing to others, and I thought I'd better start at home."

The result is an outreach program in Truro diocese in which small groups of boy choristers from the cathedral visit primary schools to sing with the pupils, who are ...

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January/February
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