Article Title

Singing Locally; Thinking Globally: Why Community Choirs Matter


Tom Bridges


As a community choir director of nearly twenty years experience I frequently and inevitably come into contact with attitudes and beliefs about music as it is practised, experienced and observed in this culture held by people who regard themselves as nonmusicians. If I were to paraphrase most people’s considered description of music and its place in society, it would go something like this: Music is a commodity or service that is produced and sold by experts, to be consumed by the population when they buy concert tickets, purchase recordings, or turn on the radio or TV. These experts are skilled artisans whose craft or trade is that of a performing and/or recording musician. They are credentialed as such from a combination – in proportions that vary enormously and idiosyncratically – of a genetically bestowed ‘gift’ or ‘talent’, and specialist training, both formal and informal.