News from the Friends of Cathedral Music
Music making at Salisbury Cathedral received a £20,000 boost as an endowment grant to support its boy choristers by the Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM) presented a cheque on Saturday 1 October. The organisation, which is handing out a total of £600,000 this year, is the world leader in the provision of grants to support cathedral and church music.
The award to Salisbury is one of the largest handed out this year to nearly 40 cathedrals and churches in the UK and abroad and raises the total amount FCM has donated to the Cathedral to £62,000 since the first amount of £4,000 given in 1979.
The Dean, the Very Revd June Osborne said “Maintaining a choral tradition of the standard that we enjoy at Salisbury Cathedral is a major commitment, demanding both the time and skills of highly trained music staff. We are very fortunate to have a dedicated and passionately engaged team in the Cathedral and at the Cathedral School but it all costs money. For us the support and encouragement received from the Friends of Cathedral Music is vital. As music lovers and consummate fund-raisers, FCM have contributed significantly over the years toward ensuring that not just our choir but choirs across the country continue to thrive.”
The Director of Music, David Halls said “Salisbury Cathedral‘s tradition of choral music stretches back nearly a thousand years, which is an awe-inspiring inheritance. This generous gift allows us to perpetuate that legacy of which we are rightly proud and ensure that the opportunity to sing in our choir is made available to all children.
“Our choristers are not only central to the life and worship of the Cathedral but represent our diocese and home city when they perform outside these walls and on occasions abroad. They link the Cathedral to outlying parishes, the local community and the countries that we visit when we tour.”
The organisation was founded in 1956 following a meeting in St Bride’s Church, London, affectionately known by journalists as The Cathedral of Fleet Street. At that time, concern was growing about the demise of cathedral music and thanks to the enthusiasm of the late Canon Ronald Sibthorp, a cathedral Precentor, FCM was founded.
To mark its 60th anniversary this year, FCM launched a Diamond Jubilee appeal to raise £10 million by 2020, with a special concert in St Paul’s Cathedral in April when a chorister from 60 cathedrals around the UK, including Salisbury, joined the St Paul’s Choir to mark the occasion.
Roger Bishton, secretary of FCM, who made the presentation, said that the organisation was impressed with the work which the Cathedral carries out in music making and acknowledges that Salisbury was a place of musical excellence. ‘We want to play our part in maintaining and enhancing that for future years,’ he added. It was part of a record £600,000 total handed out in its anniversary year.