I have to confess to feeling a tad conned.
" As schools and universities re-open for business, Aled examines the training options for budding professional choristers"
I see the title 'Back to School' and see the short prompt that the programme will be talking about the way forward for budding professional choristers.
I read the programme list, and a weary smile comes:
The Sixteen, The Rodolfus Choir, Trinity College, Cardinall's Musick, Vocalessence, Voces Cantabils.
Guests: two from The Sixteen, plus Ralph Allwood, Director of the Rodolfus Choir and late Director of Music @ Eton College.
Now, maybe I am being over-cynical, but this sounds very much like the London charmed magic circle Chris Watson was talking about on these threads very recently. Both The Sixteen and Rodolfus have initiatives towards garnering 18+ singers to publicise, the Rodolfus Ch a new CD of the Back B Minor Mass to
publicise, the Eton Courses are predominantly [ RA's own words] proving grounds for choristers for Oxbridge colleges, who provide singers for.....The Sixteen. One of the other choirs featured conducted by Ronald Corp are a hybrid from WAbbey and the Millennium Choir.
I waited: training of young choristers, I thought. Maybe Schools? Cathedral choirs that provide trajectories for aspiring singers?
Not a chance.
Remind me where this programme is produced? Cardiff. Indeed. Across the water is Wells Cathedral - choir [ a winner of prestigious competitions ] , highly regarded music school? Past conductor Malcolm Archer late of Wells, late of St Paul's, currently at Winchester College. A man of possibly more experience in training young voices to a level much admired for years. Did we hear from such an expert? No. Just down the road is Gloucester, Worcester, and a little further off Hereford. All drawing their young choristers from a wide variety of provenances and taking them on to 18+.
So, not a programme about the training of 'young choristers' . Young singers, yes, young Oxbridge singers scrambling for jobs, indeed. Guests anxious to promote their wares, yes indeed.
And, by the way, did Aled Jones say that next week's The Choir would be at 5 p.m. - following on from Choral Evensong?
So if CE starts at 3.30, how long is it now going to go on - 90 minutes?