In Church Questions today (16th November), Michael Fabricant discussed MusicShare with Andrew Selous MP who represents the Church Commissioners in the House of Commons.
Michael asked about music at our cathedrals and the work of the Lichfield Cathedral Summer School.
Andrew Selous replied: “I want to thank my Hon Friend and the Cathedral Chapter at Lichfieldfor for their warm welcome on my recent visit which I greatly enjoyed.
“The Lichfield Cathedral Summer School is indeed an inspiration to the wider church in supporting children, many of whom are on Free School Meals, to socialise and learn before the new school year begins. I know it has expanded with Staffordshire County Council support and with the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme, and would like to operate throughout the school holidays, and I warmly commend it.”
Michael then asked: “It’s the 20th anniversary of MusicShare this year, which started in Lichfield, and over 150 schools are engaged every year. I went to the anniversary concert in Lichfield Cathedral last Saturday (11th November) and saw Noye’s Fludde written by Benjamin Britten, and it was really a spectacular occasion, with all the school children taking part.
“What more could Lichfield do to advise other cathedrals on how it ought to be done?”
Andrew Selous: “As so often where Lichfield leads, others follow, my Hon Friend is right that the choral tradition in our cathedrals is one of the glories of our country. As he said, Lichfield’s MusicShare programme has reached 25,000 children, with participants of all ages, including people up to their 90s, which is no doubt why it has won a national award from the Times Educational Supplement.”
Commenting after, Michael said “The performance at the Cathedral involving wonderful music and hundreds of school children dressed as animals on the ark, and a full orchesytra was just wonderful. The adult singers and the kids really enjoyed themselves as did the audience. It was a privilege to be there. And special mention must go to Cathy Lamb who was compere, conductor, director, and all round good egg!”