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Amateur choirs protest planned closure of BBC Singers

By | Published on Thursday 23 March 2023


A group of over 18,000 amateur choir members from across the UK have written to BBC Director General Tim Davie to protest the planned closure of the BBC Singers. They say that the move is a blow to the entire choral music ecosystem in the UK and urge the BBC to reconsider its decision.

“The BBC Singers have a special and symbolic place in choral singers’ hearts – epitomised when they sang at the Last Night Of The Proms in 2020 when singing together was still banned for amateur choirs”, says the letter. “They occupy a crucial position in the ecosystem of choir singing in the UK: not just a peak of excellence that we amateurs aspire to, but a group we have many close links with”.

“BBC Singers are former members of our choirs; current and former BBC Singers conduct many choirs; BBC Singers regularly perform as soloists alongside amateur choirs; and they come and perform in, and bring fantastic music to, our communities on a regular basis”, it goes on. “It’s personal, they are part of the choir family. By killing off the UK’s leading professional choir, you will diminish us all”.

This letter is one of many protests against the BBC’s recently announced new strategy for its classical music output, which Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore claimed was its “first major review of classical music in a generation”. That new strategy includes cuts to the broadcaster’s orchestras, as well as the entire disbandment of the BBC Singers after 99 years.

The BBC has yet to respond to the letter.