Thank you for reversing the decision to axe the BBC Singers on 30 September, and for giving the BBC Singers their rightful place in the 2023 BBC Proms programme.
Now I am writing to ask you to:
- Maintain the BBC Singers as a full-time employed BBC Performing Group with a bright future
- Withdraw proposals to make 20% cuts to jobs in the BBC Concert, Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras which would make those orchestras unsustainable and unable to provide the breadth of work they currently do in concert giving, education and outreach.
- Commit to maintaining all six Performing Groups as an essential part of the BBC’s public service remit
[Use this space to explain why you care about BBC Singers and the BBC Symphony, Concert and Philharmonic Orchestras. What do they mean to you as a working musician, student, teacher, license fee payer and as someone who loves music? What do they mean for your area of work, or how you engage with the BBC?]
The BBC Performing Groups are invaluable to the BBC
The BBC’s recent Classical Music Review gave the impression that the BBC understood the importance of the BBC Singers and five orchestras, and indicated a full commitment from the BBC to the orchestras and singers’ ongoing employment.
To now hear of potential redundancies across the BBC Orchestras in England and a change in ownership of the BBC Singers as a performing group is unthinkable.
It is unthinkable for many reasons:
- The BBC Singers and Orchestras are a key asset that sets the BBC apart from commercial broadcasters
- The exceptional quality of their output ensures that the BBC remains one of the most significant players in the classical music industry in the UK and internationally
- The BBC’s Performing Groups have public support; over 150,000 people have signed the petition to save the BBC Singers, which was delivered to the BBC in March 2023
- The BBC’s Performing Groups are a core part of BBC Proms. [Do you love the Proms? Explain why here and share any experiences or memories of the Proms that have stuck with you]
- They make a crucial contribution in meeting the public purposes of the BBC’s Royal Charter by providing education and learning, stimulating creativity and cultural excellence
- The BBC’s Performing Groups serve the UK’s nations and regions through community and education outreach work alongside broadcast activity
- They also provide workshops and experiences for students in further and higher education
The BBC’s own Myerscough Review in 2012 said that: “The report examined both closures of the PGs and equal cost reductions across the groups as a means of decreasing investment. It found that either way a severe diminution would result in the quality, range and volume of live and specially recorded music available to the BBC. This would be inconsistent with the Corporation’s editorial needs and delivery to audiences. Savings would only be achieved were the lost output not to be replaced.”
Protecting the quality of BBC output
The BBC Singers and orchestras are a vital source of employment for musicians in the UK. This is true of all the Performing Groups.
Any change in the number of employed posts would have a negative impact on the work they could produce, and leave current employees fearing for their jobs and feeling that their work and dignity are not respected.
I fully support the BBC Singers and orchestras and await your reply.
[Your name and address including postcode]