In January 2007, the Government announced it would invest £40 million over four years in a national singing programme for schools. This resulted in the national “Sing Up” program. Of course Cambridge already had a strong choral tradition, and with the help of the Chorister Outreach Program and the Music Service (part of Cambridgeshire Culture), King’s College, at the behest of our founding President the Late Sir Stephen Cleobury, helped to bring quality singing to school children across the local community, culminating in concerts at their world famous chapel. Twenty-five Cambridgeshire primary schools took part, and King’s Junior Voices was formed. Our conductor, Lyn Alcántara, has built a eighty-strong choir of children who form the backbone of the chapel concerts. These children have learnt how to sing to a high standard, worked on their musical knowledge and sight reading, and have enjoyed performing along-side the famous King’s choristers.
Well, the four years have ended, and tougher times are afoot. We are determined that this community project should flourish, and that accessible choral singing continue to be available to those children who don’t normally find the opportunity to join a high quality choir. To this end we have launched as an independent charity, without the national government funding. Furthermore, we believe that the best way to reach the sort of children who will benefit most from KJV is to remain free, so we are attempting to stay subscription free.
Of course there are considerable costs involved in running a good quality choir, from the services of top musical staff and a really good administrator, through rehearsal space, and the costs involved in putting on the performances. Thankfully we have had great support from King’s College School and College in helping to provide the facilities to continue the tradition of the choir now we are financially independent. We are also generously sponsored by various individuals and especially by Girton Town Charity. But we still have a small mountain to climb in securing the funding we need to continue. If you would like to help us with this, please let us know.