25th Nov, 2020

Choir and music charity secures coronavirus lifeline

A CHOIR and and music charity based in Warwick has secured a coronavirus lifeline.

Armonico Consort has been awarded more than £100,000 as part of the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.

Armonico Consort is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76million of investment announced at the weekend.

This follows £257million awarded last week to 1,385 organisations, also from the CRF grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Since lockdown, Armonico Consort has reinvented itself, moving online to provide singing sessions for young people and isolated older people, and re-training its musicians to deliver music therapy for those living with dementia, to benefit the local community.

It gave the first post-lockdown concert at Leamington’s Assembly Rooms earlier this month with a small-scale performance of Naked Byrd and returns on October 29 with Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, again with a reduced audience capacity.

Christopher Monks, artistic director of Armonico Consort, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application for over £100,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund. It gives us much-needed security and enables us to continue our small-scale concerts and plan confidently for a ‘reopening’ of our large-scale concert programmes, beginning with Bach’s St Matthew Passion at Easter.

“The grant also allows us to proceed with our planned project to stream some of our concerts online and will help us provide Covid-19 security measures for our own-promoted concerts where required.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, welcomed the government funding.

He said: “Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.

“We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Visit www.armonico.org.uk for information on Armonico Consort’s forthcoming performances.

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