Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM) has set up a Diamond Fund for Choristers (DFFC) to support, promote and protect choral singing in the UK. Two major fundraising events have already been announced: a concert to make the heart soar and a sponsored cycle to make the thighs burn.
Composer and DFFC patron Roxanna Panufnik heads the sponsored cycle, which will see parents of Westminster Abbey Choir School pupils ride from St George’s Chapel Windsor to Westminster Abbey – a distance just shy of 50km. She hopes to raise GBP5,000 (€3,360).
Meanwhile a litany of musical luminaries have signed up for a benefit concert on 27 April at St Paul’s Cathedral. Classical FM’s Aled Jones plays host, with St Paul’s music director Andrew Carwood conducting. The programme brings 60 cathedral choristers from across the country together with the St Paul’s choir to create a unique and powerful performance. A new piece by Philip Stopford – a Classic FM Hall of Fame composer – will receive its world premiere during the concert.
‘FCM provides grants from members’ subscriptions and legacies to sustain cathedral music across the country, but income is now insufficient to meet cathedral choirs’ needs,’ said FCM in a statement. ‘[Our] new Diamond Fund aims to relieve hardship, provide bursaries and help choristers develop and flourish.’
FCM hopes to raise GBP10m in total, with these two events kicking off the campaign. FCM was founded in 1956, and each year distributes GBP300,000 in grants among its 4,000 strong membership. Tickets for the concert are on sale through ticketmaster, while Panufnik has created a JustGiving page for the bike ride.