Choirs across the UK have signed an open letter calling for the BBC to reverse its decision to close down the BBC Singers. Addressed to BBC director general, Tim Davie, the letter was organised by Wimbledon Choral and is signed by two hundred twenty-nine UK amateur choirs . The signatory groups’ combined 18.290 members have called on Davie to abandon the map to near down the BBC Singers which was announced earlier this month. As Britain’s only full-time professional chamber choir the BBC Singers have, for nearly a century, played a vital role within the UK’s choral landscape.
The closure is portion of a raft of changes to the BBC’s classical music strategy which will also look redundancies across the BBC Concert and Symphony Orchestras and the BBC Philharmonic. In the letter, published on Twitter yesterday, the choirs said: ‘[The BBC Singers] occupy a crucial position in the ecosystem of choir singing in the UK: not just a peak of excellence that we amateurs aspire to, but a group we've many near links with. BBC Singers are former members of our choirs; current and former BBC Singers conduct many choirs; BBC Singers regularly carry out as soloists alongside amateur choirs; and they arrive and carry out in, and bring great music to, our communities on a regular basis… By killing off the UK's leading professional choir, you'll diminish us all.’ The letter is portion of a larger public reaction to the BBC’s cancellation of the choir, with another recent open letter condemning the planned closure published latest week signed by over seven hundred composers both the UK and overseas.
Over 140.000 people have signed a petition calling on Webb and BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore to reconsider this decision to disband the BBC Singers. JAM, the arts organisation behind JAM on the Marsh festival, has also published its own letter this week calling for the decision to be reversed and offering their involvement in ‘any ongoing discussions with the BBC on this vital matter’. Sam Evans, music director of amateur choirs including Battersea Power Sta Community Choir, Battersea Choral Society, Harrow Choral Society, and Kew Gardens Choir, has also keep together a video of the choirs across the UK and overseas pledging their support to the campaign.