Ex Cathedra is delighted that Arts Council England has reconfirmed the company’s status as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and has offered a modest uplift in its funding to support its plans to reach a wider public through repertoire development, touring of some of its most innovative and attractive programmes and continuing to build its high quality education and outreach programmes.
The company is unique amongst choral ensembles not only in this country but across Europe in that it is equally committed to excellence in performance supported by scholarly research as to developing the skills of its singers, inspiring a love of singing in children and using the power of singing to improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults alike.
Whilst there are a number of opera companies amongst the list announced by ACE earlier today, Ex Cathedra is the only company specialising in choral singing.
Ex Cathedra’s founder and Artistic Director Jeffrey Skidmore welcomed the news:
“I am very pleased and proud that a national funding body has recognised the quality and range of what we have been building here in our home city of Birmingham for many years and of our leadership in choral singing. Singing is the most accessible form of creative musical expression but it is also one of the most exacting. I want Ex Cathedra to lead the way in ensuring that children and adults can experience the pleasures and benefits of singing and in preparing gifted young singers for entry into a highly competitive profession.”
Thanks to this decision, Ex Cathedra can continue to explore new repertoire through research and new commissions, build new creative partnerships and nurture young singers from their earliest years and help them realise their full potential.
The choir has two new recordings planned for later this year including a first CD of music discovered by Jeffrey Skidmore in his researches into Brazil’s long-neglected classical music heritage. Three new works have also been commissioned from three of the country’s leading composers, James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik and Sally Beamish.
September sees the launch of the 10th anniversary celebrations for Ex Cathedra’s two ground-breaking children’s singing projects, Singing Playgrounds and Singing Medicine. Both have gone from strength to strength from their beginnings in Birmingham, with Singing Playgrounds being delivered as far afield as China and Singapore. Singing and health is another exciting area which Ex Cathedra is now looking to develop.
Ex Cathedra’s 2014/15 Season opens with a return to the exquisitely beautiful music of the French Baroque on 12 October in Town Hall, Birmingham.
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