The BBC will not shutter its BBC Singers chamber choir following public outcry and talks with the Musicians’ Union (MU).
The decision to close the BBC Singers was announced in March, but was met with fierce outcry from senior government officials, conductors, and choirmasters. It’s unclear if the BBC will intend to continue to reduce salaried orchestral posts by 20% as planned. The BBC Singers will resume its place in this year’s Proms program and the union will be entering into consultation with the BBC to secure the ensemble’s future.
“The weeks since the BBC’s announcement have impacted all the individuals affected in the most brutal way,” adds Jo Laverty, the MU National Organizer for Orchestras. “We are right behind every member affected, and as we enter negotiation we will be consulting our members in the Singers and BBC Orchestras to ensure the outcome is as positive as possible for them all.”
“The outpouring of love for the BBC Singers and orchestras over the past few weeks has been incredible and we know our members are hugely grateful for all the support they’ve received,” adds Naomi Pohl.
“We hope the BBC recognizes the real quality and value they bring to the UK’s music industry, international music makers and fans and BBC license fee payers who will be keener than ever to see them in action live and via broadcast. The work they do in music education is also crucial. They are frankly irreplaceable.”
“The BBC has received approached from a number of organizations offering alternative funding models for the BBC Singers,” a BBC spokesperson confirmed. “We have agreed with the Musician’s Union that we will suspend the proposal to close the BBC Singers while we actively explore these options.”
“If viable, these alternative options would secure the future of the ensemble. We can also confirm the Singers will appear in this year’s BBC Proms.”