About the Diamond Fund for Choristers
Royal Patron: HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, GCVO
Did you know…
..that more than half the members of the UK’s cathedral choirs are children?
Day after day these boys and girls make sublime music to exceptionally high standards on an equal footing with adults. They come from a huge range of backgrounds, including the most disadvantaged. Through singing in a cathedral choir, choristers develop skills which will benefit them for the rest of their lives. According to actor and broadcaster Alexander Armstrong, being a chorister offers “the single greatest leg-up a child can be given in life”, and he ought to know – he was a chorister!
Choristers often develop into top professional musicians. Others, like Alexander Armstrong, use the vast array of skills they acquired to find success in a wide range of professions. Some play a significant role in public life. Several make a positive difference to their communities and wider society.
Click here to see how many well-known choristers you know…
Our heritage, their future
The tradition of live cathedral music spans 1,400 years. It is the UK’s oldest living cultural heritage, but this art form and the benefits it brings are at risk from rising costs. We believe it deserves to be sustained and strengthened.
The Diamond Fund for Choristers was launched in 2016 to help do just that. By the end of 2020 we aim to raise either £10 million or stable income of £300,000 pa in support of cathedral choristers across the UK.
Since 2016 we have been able to help some 500 children. Take two examples, Ayesha and Joe…
Joe (not his real name) has to contend with difficult family circumstances. His sister has a rare disease, his mother has had to give up work to look after her, and his father has left home. The Diamond Fund helped meet Joe’s education costs. He has now won a scholarship to one of the great music schools, appeared on national TV, and has set his sights on a career in opera.
Ayesha’s father and uncle were murdered by drugs gangs in Indonesia for refusing to pay protection money. She arrived in the UK penniless. She was taken on as a cathedral chorister because she had a good singing voice but was unable to afford even the cost of public transport to attend rehearsals. The Diamond Fund is now meeting her travel and piano tuition costs. She has become a valued member of her cathedral choir.
The Diamond fund for Choristers is helping choristers and their choirs in many ways, including:
- funding voice and instrument training
- outreach and recruitment initiatives
- grants for choristers from families in challenging financial circumstances
- other assistance to help choristers develop and flourish
How to get involved…
There are a number of ways you can help us:
Donate Now! via Just Giving or discover other ways to Donate…
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We are keen to hear from former choristers with good interpersonal and networking skills who can access London easily, and who would like to give a bit of their time to undertake work in the capital. Contact email@example.com to find out more.
DFC has helped bring choristers together
the Cathedral Choristers of Britain, the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral and Aled Jones as they assemble for the recording of their best-selling CD, Jubilate – 500 years of Cathedral Music, a former No 1 in the UK classical album charts.
to an extract from the rehearsal of Hubert Parry’s I was glad, from the DFC launch concert when 62 choristers from (almost) every cathedral and choral foundation in the land performed together with the St Paul’s Cathedral choir.