Recovery from Covid-19: the pandemic has widened inequalities and reduced access to education for many people. The provision of a fantastic organ and better facilities at the heart of the musical education offer at St Giles’ can play an important part in securing social and educational recovery from the restrictions of the pandemic and the consequently narrowed horizons of young people in particular.
Widening access to musical training: music at St Giles’ provides opportunities for all to participate in outstanding sacred music making, irrespective of background. All we ask individuals to bring is enthusiasm and dedication. In a city in which four years of education in a choral foundation can come at a cost of over £40,000 (even after chorister subsidies are applied), we are unique in providing extensive choral, organ and vocal training at a manageable cost to parents and participants. 7 of our 23 young trainee organists are recipients of ‘Young Organ Scholars’ Trust’ bursaries – the highest number of any UK parish church. We have been instrumental in negotiating and delivering the installation of electronic Viscount organs in local schools at no cost – extending access to many more young people. We want to be in a position to build on this foundation.
Securing and maintaining the English sacred music tradition: always at risk, owing to rising costs, we are already playing a part in drawing many more local young people into the wonders of this musical tradition. As well as 23 young choristers, we provide opportunities for 12 teenagers whose voices have changed and 2 young organ scholars to maintain their involvement – providing opportunities that secure ongoing commitment and enjoyment in music making at a critical stage in their lives. A musical education at St Giles’ can provide an invaluable preparation for moving on to choral and organ scholarships across the country.
Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all: it is well-established that participation in musical activity provides immense benefits to young people, both in educational progress and emotional wellbeing. Young people are facing a more uncertain future than ever, and mental health problems are on the rise. With the right tools and facilities, we can play a part in tackling this immense challenge through the provision of engaging, fun and stretching musical opportunities.
Extending the role of music in Christian worship: by no means least in our priorities, any congregant at St Giles’ and many other churches will testify to the uplifting and inspiring value brought to their mission and worship by the beauty of sacred music. Through music, we communicate our gratitude to God, our appreciation of beauty and prayer, and our love for our neighbours.
Building on a legacy of success:
what Music at St Giles’ has achieved so far
Support the energy of our young musicians: The foundation on which we are aiming to build is already thriving, but we know that with the right tools we can do so much more. The commitment and energy of our young musicians needs and deserves to be supported by an organ and facilities that rival those normally available only to a fortunate few. But meanwhile, our confidence in what we can achieve arises from a strong tradition of achievement.
Our organists: The Academy of Music is home to a talented faculty of organists who are able to offer tuition at any level, including diplomas. Students are welcome to attend for occasional or regular lessons. Guidance is available in service playing, repertoire, organ history, technique, and keyboard skills.
You might like to consider sponsoring an organ pipe to help us on our way.