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BBC Singers bailed out of the ax after hundreds of thousands complained | music | entertainment

There was an outcry in Britain and across the world when the BBC announced plans for massive cuts to its world-famous orchestra and to banish BBC singers.

The devastating act would have a catastrophic effect not only on the affected musicians and singers, but also on the broader classical music ecosystem that relies on these immensely talented bands.

For decades, the Foundation’s support of musicians, singers and composers has helped cement the UK’s position as a cultural superpower. Take, for example, the BBC Proms – an event loved by an audience of millions and admired all over the world.

It is difficult to understand the rationale behind these proposed cuts, especially when you consider the relatively small financial savings in exchange for the huge loss of artistic talent.

I am therefore pleased that the Foundation announced on Friday that it will be putting on hold its plans to shut down the BBC’s Singers while it explores alternative ways of funding this unique chamber choir. However, we need to make sure that the long-term future of these amazing singers will be secure.

Whilst the BBC singers are safe for the time being, cuts to irreplaceable orchestras are still on the cards and we must ensure that there is an urgent rethink there too.

It is impossible to overstate the cultural and social impact of these bands. They bring joy to millions, enhance our well-being and happiness and play a critical role in music education, nurturing the next generation of talent our industry depends on.

They help shape our nation’s identity, impact the lives of people from across the UK and from all backgrounds and enhance our reputation around the world.

If we lose these jewels in our cultural crown, they will be gone forever. It simply won’t be possible to regroup when the financial picture looks more rosy.

BBC orchestras and singers are an integral part of our musical history, but they should also be part of our vibrant and diverse cultural future.

We cannot take our reputation for musical excellence for granted. We must strive to ensure that the music that has brought us so much joy can be enjoyed by future generations.

Jimmy Njoku Goodwin is the CEO of UK Music.

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