DIVERSITY, WHEN IT'S CONVENIENT

Having seen the lineup for Voices Now at London's Roundhouse on 4 March, I wonder how it is that the event lists itself as "a day showcasing some of the UK's best choirs", when the participating 12 ensembles are all based in England, one from Birmingham and the rest based in London or the home counties! 

It'd surely be better to drop any reference to the UK, wouldn't it? It'd be only slightly more ridiculous to say Voices Now 2012 will showcase some of Europe's best choirs, or the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy's best choirs. 

Voices Now has taken a practical route, using choirs based near to the Camden venue. There are school choirs from 4 schools around Harrow representing youth, a Georgian choir based in Highgate and a choir formed from outreach to homeless peaple, so the event organisers score highly for social diversity. Maybe they got no interest in taking part from choirs further afield.

It is a tedious business to organise group trips, and many choirs don't tend to travel much. Most choral singers have busy lives and cannot often allocate extra time to their choir activities. This fact should not be taken to imply anything about their choral standards.  

Best of luck to the Roundhouse event, but I hope they cut the meaningless claims of "some of the UK's best". Also, we should not scorn a local choir's abilities for reasons of snobbery or other prejudice. Excellence can be encountered all over the UK.


April 2018