Terre Haute, Indiana

Here we are, a week into our GOLD tour, and so far it’s going well.  Johnny proclaims each night that this is “a 14-month world tour.” Well, I suppose he’s right, but I’m glad we’re not on the road constantly for quite that long!

Audiences seem to be picking up well on our underlying theme that “we are more alike than we are unalike” as Maya Angelou’s wonderful text states, set to music brilliantly by Bob Chilcott for our opening piece “We are.” And, fans are giving us positive feedback about our various GOLD products on sale. So, all in all, we’re having a blast.

It’s unusual for us to do two concerts in Indiana, and two so close together (Terre Haute is only an hour from Indianapolis, where we performed on Wednesday evening) but clearly there’s a good following for choral music in this state, as both nights have seen enthusiastic audiences. Which has got me thinking about music education, and music’s part in it.

Here in the US, music appears to be a fairly integral part of education, and we’re constantly meeting students who speak of the amount of rehearsal and practice time they are afforded as part of their week in school or college. Even with our incredible history and tradition in the UK, the vast majority of students have nowhere near as much time devoted to music. This is despite having possibly the finest choral tradition in the world, certainly with regard to the cathedral and collegiate choirs. Articles such as this one, published in The Guardian this week, further back up the claims that music education leads to better results all around:

We’re often asked what our “mission” is as we travel around the world. Well, for me, if there’s one thing I want to improve it’s the understanding that music in education is of huge benefit. I have had the opportunity to speak to a few people in government in the UK about this, but they’re always dismissive even in the light of studies such as the one linked to above, which seems silly as starting the day with 10 minutes of group singing for all schoolchildren would be the easiest thing in the world to do.

We need more music in schools.


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