Friday, 25 September 2009

Generous Grant supports Cathedral Music

A gift of £15,000 from the Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM) will be made to the choir of St Asaph Cathedral on Sunday 27 September. It will be presented at the 11 a.m. Choral Eucharist service by FCM’s Chairman, Professor Peter Toyne CBE.

Commenting on the gift the Organist and Master of the Choristers, Mr Alan McGuiness said, “We are both grateful and delighted to receive such a substantial grant from FCM. This will enable the establishment of an endowment to fund choral scholarships, thus greatly enhancing our current music making here in North Wales. Furthermore it will secure our future musical development.”

St Asaph Cathedral has two choirs for children, one for girls and another for boys, both offering unrivalled musical educational and social experience. In addition to singing they both receive instrumental lessons. Currently there is a total of 31 boy and girl choristers plus six layclerks (men) who provide the alto, tenor and bass parts. The boys sing Choral Evensong on Mondays, and the girls on Fridays, both with varying Sunday commitments.

On presenting the cheque, Professor Toyne said, “It is a real delight for me to present this money on behalf of our members. Through their gifts of £1.7million since FCM was founded, we have been able to make a major contribution to safeguarding the priceless heritage of cathedral music in Britain. This year alone, we are giving a total of £125,000 to eight cathedrals, two each in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is wonderful that we are able to include what is said to be 'The smallest ancient cathedral in Britain' in this year’s grants and it is worth remembering that in previous years, FCM has given £9,500 to St Asaph Cathedral bringing the current total to £24,500.”

The present Cathedral building, is a mixture of architecture dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, giving a blend of simplicity, quiet dignity and beauty. The exceptional acoustic qualities of the Cathedral also make it a popular venue for concerts and recitals, including the annual North Wales International Music Festival which takes place in September.


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