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Amateur Choirs – Further Developments and Campaigning From the MU

Amateur choirs may be able to rehearse, perform and record under specific circumstances - as we continue to campaign to overturn the Government’s decision on continuing to limit their activities.

Published: 10 June 2021 | 6:41 PM
Photograph of a choir, blurred in the background, with a keyboard and microphone in sharp focus.
The MU has joined a campaign group with Making Music, ISM, ABO, RCS and ABCD - aiming to overturn the limits of amateur choirs. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Following our previous reports on the restrictions currently imposed on amateur choirs under Step 3 of the Government’s Spring Roadmap, the MU has joined a campaign group with Making Music, ISM, ABO, RCS and ABCD, aiming to overturn the decision that limits amateur choirs to just six people indoors.

A response received by the group states: “Whilst it is for organiser and venues to determine how to operate in accordance with the relevant guidance and regulations, we would remind you that the limits do not apply activity taking place for work or commercial activity.”

Our reading of this, and that of the other campaign group members, is that amateur choirs being paid to perform live or make a recording, or rehearsing specifically towards the performance or recording, can be treated as professionals under the Performing Arts guidance, and are therefore not subject to the six-person indoor limit.

Whilst this may be good news for many choirs, we realise that it will not help everyone. We have approached DCMS to ask what this means for our members who run amateur choirs as a job, and whether the above response means they can resume this work without the limit on numbers. We also continue to campaign for the reduction of restrictions on amateur choirs alongside the wider group.

Take action now and sign the petition calling for non-professional singing in groups of more than six indoors to be permitted.

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Photograph of Andi Hopgood sat at the front of a lecture hall, talking into a microphone. Behind her, a large screen displays the MU logo.

Amateur Choirs: “It’s In Our Bones to Use Our Voices”

As the Government continues to restrict the meeting and rehearsing of amateur choirs in England, jazz vocalist, musician and teacher Andi Hopgood discusses why amateur choirs are so essential – from their benefits to wellbeing to the employment they provide.

Read more about Amateur Choirs: “It’s In Our Bones to Use Our Voices”