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Brecon Cathedral differs from most of its English counterparts in having neither Choir School nor endowments to support its music. Nevertheless, the expectation is that high quality choral and other music will be found within its walls. The cost of this cannot be met through the weekly income of the Cathedral. In 2003, The Brecon Cathedral Choir Appeal was launched to address this, and to enable the continuation and development of music at the Cathedral for future generations.
'Empowering young people through the gift of music'
The income from the Choir Trust is used to fund the musical education of the choristers and thus enable all children with musical potential to apply for a choristership, regardless of background and financial circumstances. This musical education includes training in voice production and in reading music, both during the regular choir practices and through individual and group music lessons with the Cathedral's Director of Music and the Assistant Organist. In addition, the Trust aims to fund instrumental lessons for each chorister during their time in the choir.
With the ever-increasing cost of providing a high standard of music in worship, and with music disappearing from the curriculum in many schools, the aims of the Appeal are recognisably worthy: talented local children from all backgrounds will receive the benefit of a first-class musical education and the Cathedral will continue to be filled with glorious music.
The Choir Trust is honoured to have as its patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, who visited Brecon Cathedral in June 2009. On the evening of his visit to the Cathedral he was asked by BBC Wales' Lucy Owen "Why did you want to call in there?" His Royal Highness explained to viewers, "Because it is rather a long time since I've been ... I took on the patronage of their appeal to try to set up an endowment for the choir; it is always a bit of a struggle to keep the music traditions going in these cathedrals. It was an opportunity to call in and see how they had been getting on. They are trying to raise a million pounds so they can produce a real income to enable that choral tradition to continue. It was marvellous meeting the choristers and the adult choristers – all volunteers – amazing ... it is a wonderful place, Brecon Cathedral."
What has been achieved so far?
In July 2012 we reached our original target of £1 million, which in the first instance enabled the appointment of Mark Duthie as full-time Director of Music and the establishment of a part-time post of Assistant Organist. As a result of this, a new treble line has been recruited, consisting of over twenty choristers aged between 8 and 13. All receive individual singing lessons, and many already benefit from financial help with instrumental lessons. We are building a solid musical foundation for the development of future years.
Further donations will enable us to secure the future of our musical heritage. We need to increase the number of instrumental scholarships available and thus help realize our vision of providing a first-class musical education for all our choristers. We also need to continue to expand the number of weekly choral services and to develop further the musical life and outreach of the Cathedral.
How you can help:
There are many ways of contributing to the Choir Trust:
All donations are gratefully received. Major donors may have the option of endowing a full chorister scholarship in perpetuity.
Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales
President: The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon
For further information, please contact Brecon Cathedral Office, The Cathedral Close, Brecon, Powys, LD3 9DP. Telephone 01874 623857.
The Cathedral Office
The Cathedral Close
Tel: 01874 623857
Fax: 01874 623716
Visiting the Cathedral