Wednesday, 25 January 2017

'The Singing of the Choir' - 25 January, 1989 (BBC Radio 4)

Exactly 28 years ago today, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a short, 13 minute, programme looking at the role of cathedral and college choirs "in a changing society and changing musical climate" (

The two institutions chosen to represent the "ecclesiastical choral tradition" are Lichfield Cathedral and King's College, Cambridge. The programme features recordings from each choir, and interviews with the directors (Jonathan Rees-Williams and Stephen Cleobury, respectively) and singers from each choir. A recording of the programme has been made available to me and it is now available for a wider audience in the Cathedral Choir's media archive.

Nearly three decades on, this offers an interesting glimpse into the historical situation, but comparisons will inevitably be made between 1989 and 2017 and it is interesting to see some of the same challenges still faced by choirs today.

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