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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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BBC Performing Arts Fund awards over £200,000 to choirs around the UK

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The BBC Performing Arts Fund, in association with Making Music, has awarded more than £200,000 to choirs and singing groups from around the UK through its Choral Ambition scheme.

From the 350 applications that were received, 98 choirs – with a total of almost 6,000 choir members between them – will receive funding.

This funding will go towards 14 commissions of new music and 84 projects including training for choirs and choir leaders; workshops open to the public to attract new members; support to tackle ambitious new repertoires and support to put on large scale events.

Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3, Director of the BBC Proms, and Trustee of the Fund said: "The recent increased interest in singing and choral activity is exciting and this new initiative from the Performing Arts Fund is therefore particularly timely.

"These grants will help choirs develop and expand their range of work and increase their engagement with their local communities."

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive, Making Music, said: "Making Music was delighted to be able to help the Performing Arts Fund with Choral Ambition and of course it is marvellous that the programme has been so brilliantly successful.

"Many congratulations to the PAF and to the winners, many of them Making Music members, of course, who have come up with such a diverse and interesting range of projects.

"As a result of this programme we expect to see the world of choral singing expanding even further, with hundreds of new singers, better trained choirs, and a range of new musical opportunities."

Aled Jones, presenter of Radio 3's The Choir, said: "Funding for training and development as well as commissioning of new music is usually out of the grasp of amateur choirs.

"With the help of the BBC Performing Arts Fund, this scheme means that choirs across the country will be able to learn new skills, attract new members, revitalise their existing membership and help even more people enjoy the benefits of singing."

Francesca Lasman from Vox Rocks, a choir based in St Neots in Cambridgeshire, said: "We are thrilled to have the grant from the BBC, which will give us the opportunity to really engage boys in singing in harmony, not with traditional choral music but with specially arranged rock numbers which are on their wavelength, and, having hooked them, then moving on to other styles. We have already booked the ACM gospel choir for a workshop in February half-term."

Notes to Editors

Details of the grants awarded are available in a PDF file on the right-hand side of this page.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund helps aspiring music-makers and performers looking for a way to get ahead.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund is a registered charity, number 1101276.

The charity (formerly Fame Academy Bursary Trust) was set up in 2003 within the BBC. The fund receives revenue from the voting lines of BBC One entertainment programmes that seek to find new performing talent (including Fame Academy, How Do you Solve A Problem Like Maria? and I’d Do Anything).

To date the fund has allocated £2.4million to fund young musicians, from a range of genres, to help them pursue their careers in music.

Its mission is to seek out and support excellent aspiring performers and those directly supporting performing artists, who, for reasons of lack of existing opportunity, personal background or circumstance, would not have been able to achieve their most ambitious goals, or their talent's greatest potential, without the fund's support or intervention.


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