Sunday, April 22, 2012

Songs of Praise and the class system

Round at the Dower House this afternoon, I watched the senior semi-final of the Songs of Praise Junior Choir of the Year contest - my mother used to babysit one of the basses in the Oakham School choir.

Of the six choirs taking part, five came from private schools. I don't know if the reason for this is cultural or economic - does it cost much to have a good choir? - but we have become used to this sort of dominance of sporting and cultural excellence by the private sector.

The only state school choir taking part came from Wales, which may be a tribute to that country's strong choral tradition or its less class-bound society. Or it could be chance.


Frank Little said...

I have the impression that there is more local government support for music in schools in Wales than in England, but it would be interesting to see figures.

Louise Ankers said...

My experience of both sectors (independent and state) was that the teachers at the independent schools were more likely to host after-school / lunch activities so there was more to do – an incredible amount actually.

Anonymous said...

Mr Calder's comment on state school participation is an interesting one. I would perhaps have altered it slightly to read :-

"Or it could be a combination of a strong choral tradition coupled with the enthusiasm, dedication and drive shown by the staff and pupils of the school, particularly given that the school is not only the lone state school, but is also located in an area identified as part of the 20% most economically deprived areas in Wales. Chance, I would argue,is not a factor."