DFC Aims

Choristers at St Paul's Concert

1. Create and maintain equal opportunities for young people from different backgrounds and develop their skills.

The discipline, concentration and sense of responsibility nurtured by singing a demanding repertoire instils a sense of professionalism and maturity, and enables children to cope with life’’s later challenges.

  • Nowhere else do children participate on equal terms with adults and to the same standard, contributing to the cultural activity of the highest and most demanding quality on an almost daily basis.
  • Children from all backgrounds, regardless of family income, ethnicity or gender, should have the opportunity to benefit from these superb opportunities. Rising costs should not make singing in a cathedral choir the preserve of the well-off. We advocate equal opportunity and excellence, not elitism.

Ely Girls in the Common Room

2. Benefit society by improving social cohesion, community and individual wellbeing.

  • Cathedral choirs bring children from different communities together, breaking down social and ethnic barriers. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds develop skills which help them fulfil their potential.
  • Increasing numbers of the general public now attend cathedral services. Choirs enrich the lives of these visitors with spiritually uplifting music and an oasis of calm in a busy and tense world.
  • Former choristers across a wide range of professions make a difference, for example in politics (MPs David Lammy and Ben Gummer), the arts (actor Simon Russell Beale), the media (journalist Jon Snow and wine writer Oz Clarke), sport (Alastair Cook, former England cricket captain) and entertainment (TV and radio presenter Alexander Armstrong). Many of our patrons were choristers and feel deeply that their choral background was transformative.

Did you know that these well-known personalities trained as choristers?

Stained Glass Window

3. Contribute to UK culture and heritage.

  • Cathedral choirs are arguably the oldest living cultural heritage in the UK, and the choral tradition is one of this country’s greatest gifts to world culture. For 1,400 years they have performed for the nation from services to state occasions, increasing their reach in modern times through televised carol services, public concerts, studio recordings and overseas tours. They represent the cultural equivalent of a ‘site of special scientific interest’, and as such, need special care.
  • Our cathedral choirs are the best in the world. Indeed, they are a national asset of a kind enjoyed by no other country. They’’re admired by people around the globe –– just take a look at comments on YouTube cathedral choral videos. Young choristers go on to provide the backbone of many of the nation’’s best adult choirs later in their lives, and the best go on to be outstanding musicians, soloists and conductors.
  • Choirs, and the children who play such a vital part in them, are the perfect complement to our most iconic buildings. What would our cathedrals be without their choirs? They would be like a body without a soul…. …

Please donate today to help support and sustain the individual and broader societal benefits that choral training brings.