I issued the following press release on 09.06.2006
ST MARYS CHOIR!
Lynne Jones, has castigated Birmingham City Council for not providing modest financial
support to St Marys Choir for a prodigious cultural trip to the United States.
Marys Choir, based at the historic 15th Century church in Moseley, has been invited
to be Choir in Residence at Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC, USA in August
2006. In order to pay for the trip, the choir needs to raise a total of £47,000,
and has so far successfully raised almost £42,000. John McKinley, principle
fundraiser for the Choir approached Lynne Jones to ask for help in getting a response from
Birmingham City Council to his letter asking for the Councils assistance.
After chasing up the then Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport, and Culture,
Councillor John Alden for a reply, Lynne Jones received a letter stating that no funding
stream was available for the choir as Washington DC was not a partner city
Jones has since written to Ray Hassall, Cllr Aldens successor, criticising the
Council for their lack of foresight in not realising the potential benefits to Birmingham
of Council involvement in this important opportunity to promote Birminghams cultural
fundraiser, John McKinley said: St Marys are no strangers to
representing Birmingham, as they have sung over the years in Frankfurt as part of the
twinning arrangements between our two cities, and also at Sherborne Abbey, Bath Abbey and
St Asaphs Cathedral.
trip will demonstrate the strong choral tradition that is part of the overall culture and
arts of Birmingham. This presentation of part of our arts and culture is combined
with a wonderful opportunity to promote Birmingham as a city. In addition to singing
in front of the regular Washington congregation, the cathedral will also have many
visitors from other parts of the United States and overseas. This represents a
tremendous opportunity to publicise the richness and strength of our own city to a wide
audience. The choir itself provides a vivid picture of an integrated community with
our social and ethnic mix.
Jones said: I am dismayed at the lack of foresight in failing to realise the
potential benefits to Birmingham of being involved in this wonderful opportunity to
increase the Citys cultural profile abroad. Considering the very small sum of
money involved, the Councils response is not acceptable and I hope Cllr Hassall will
reverse his predecessors short-sighted decision.
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