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November 15th, 2009 - 15,000 for Choral Scholarships at Leeds Cathedral
15,000 for Choral Scholarships at Leeds Cathedral



On Sunday 15th November, a substantial monetary gift will be made to Leeds Cathedral to help secure the long-term future of their choral scholars.  A cheque for £15,000 from the Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM) will be presented to Benjamin Saunders, Director of Music at the 11.00am Solemn Mass by a member of FCM's council, Terry Duffy.

Commenting of the gift, Mr Saunders said, "I am delighted to receive this gift from FCM which will be used as an endowment to start a fund to secure the long-term future of our choral scholars.  The Diocese of Leeds has the largest music department in the country, with 10 staff and 45 choirs, including five boys' choirs.  A key component of this programme is the reinvigoration of choral music in primary and secondary schools.

"Leeds is one of only three Roman Catholic cathedrals to sing daily services and in total there are ten services of mass and vespers sung each week.  The choral scholars are drawn from Leeds and Huddersfield Universities, supplemented by other members that have sung as trebles in the cathedral boys' and girls' choirs when they were younger.  We are looking forward to presenting a concert to publicise the work of FCM once our new Klais organ is completed in 2010.  It is with deep gratitude that we accept this grant."

FCM's Terry Duffy, who was until retirement, Director of Music at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, said on presenting the cheque, "We are delighted to support the excellent work of  Leeds Cathedral, which gives so much encouragement to young singers and upholds the choral tradition of Great Britain.  FCM is keen to lend all the financial and moral support it can to ensure the continuance of the priceless heritage of cathedral music."

This year alone, FCM is giving a total of £125,000 to eight cathedrals, large and small, two each in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  All subscription income from the members (close on 4,000) is now handed out in grants and since FCM's formation in 1956 a total of over £1.7 million has been distributed.



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