Following the success of our April Webinar: Practical Approaches to Cathedral Choir Rehearsals Online, we hosted our second national webinar on Tuesday 12th May titled Transformation or Extinction? Planning for the New Normal. This session considered longer term issues for music making under lockdown.

The webinar was attended by over 90 guests and featured speakers Peter Allwood (Friends of Cathedral Music), James O’Donnell (Westminster Abbey), Marilyn Harper (Royal College of Organists) and Neil Chippington (Choir Schools Association), alongside presentations from the Diocese of Leeds Music Team. In addition to the national picture in schools and cathedrals, topics also included fundraising during the pandemic and wellbeing for musicians.

We are delighted to have received so much positive feedback from attendees across the UK:

Thank you very much for the webinar this morning; it really was fantastic – I found it extremely reassuring and learnt a huge amount from the experience of the different speakers, so extremely grateful thanks for such a wonderful initiative, and all the work that went into preparing it.

Many thanks indeed for an excellent session this morning; much food for thought and greatly appreciated.

As before, it has been well worth attending both, not only for the ideas shared but also for the motivational speaking to remind us who we are at our core. Ben summed it up for me: ‘the Church as patron of the arts, leader in education’. On that thought, it gives me great pride to serve the Church.

Many thanks to all who organised this. It was very interesting and re-assuring, and thought provoking all at once!

There was much that I could take on board and much to inspire my work and that of my choir. I am particularly in agreement with the principle that choral singing and good quality music making should be open to all. Many musicians who today enjoy fulfilling lives and careers making and sharing music would not otherwise have had this opportunity have there not been people near them who believed deeply in this. It is also, I think, part of the Church’s broad social teaching and our particular mission as church musicians.