Frideswide Voices choristers sing in fundraising video

Seven choristers from Frideswide Voices have contributed to a new lockdown recording of Sing Together to raise funds for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund.

The Robert Prizeman song was re-arranged by Norwich Cathedral’s Master of Music, Ashley Grote, and premiered on BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday with Kate Bottley and on Aled Jones’s show on Classic FM on Sunday.

The song is introduced by Alexander Armstrong and features opera singer Elizabeth Watts and presenter Aled Jones singing, along with the current BBC Young Choristers of the Year – as well as 269 choristers from cathedrals and colleges across the country.

Helen Smee, the Director of Frideswide Voices said she was delighted that the choristers had contributed to the project at such a critical time for sacred music. 'The girls hugely enjoyed singing 'with' their counterparts at cathedrals across the country, and we look forward to a time when we can once again share in our precious musical heritage with the community at Christ Church and further afield in person.'

Professor Steven Grahl, Organist of Christ Church, said: 'It was great for our choristers to take part in this excellent initiative. This is such a challenging time for the nation's Cathedral Choirs, which are a jewel in the cultural heritage of our nation, as well as being vibrant and vital places of education. The excellent work done by the Friends of Cathedral Music and the Ouseley Trust in supporting this priceless work is to be applauded.' 

Aled Jones said: 'It was a pleasure to be able to help with this brilliant project. Many choral foundations face an uncertain future so I hope this song will inspire listeners and viewers to support the Emergency Fund.' 

International opera singer and former chorister at Norwich Cathedral, Elizabeth Watts said: 'Singing is a massive part of the spiritual life of the nation and cathedrals provide the bedrock of choral singing plus top notch training for so many young people. 

'I hope Sing Forever inspires people to support cathedrals to do exactly that in these difficult times.’  

Peter Allwood, who chairs the Friends of Cathedral Music, said: “This song sums up perfectly how choristers and choir directors feel at the moment. They face huge uncertainty as to when choirs will be heard again in our great cathedrals. 

'Without sung services, and without tourism, cathedrals will struggle to rebuild their income, and no longer be able to sustain the same level of musical excellence. 

'We hope that the emergency appeal will be able to help in this time of need.’ 

The Friends of Cathedral Music (now the Cathedral Music Trust) and the Ouseley Church Music Trust launched the Cathedral Choirs Emergency Fund to raise £1m to be able to make grants to cathedral choral foundations in need. It came after a survey showed that many choral foundations will struggle without additional funds once restrictions are lifted.

The Cathedral Music Trust and OCMT have each committed £250,000 towards the target, and the Choir Schools Association (CSA) has now joined the partnership with an equal contribution. The fund now stands just over £830k.

The Sing Forever video is available at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Cathedral-Choirs-Sing-Forever.