Celebrity CBSO campaign to secure future of youth singing

Alan Titchmarsh launches the CBSO’s Christmas appeal.

Celebrity gardener, broadcaster and novelist Alan Titchmarsh has launched the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s festive appeal Be Uplifted. The appeal, which is raising vital funds for the CBSO’s youth and community singing programme, was announced as part of the global fundraising day #GivingTuesday.

It costs over £100,000 annually to run the CBSO’s choral programme, which involves over 600 people every week and includes community choirs in the Perry Barr and Selly Oak areas of Birmingham plus three youth choirs especially for young people aged 8-18. The choral programme develops and inspires talent, unites individuals and communities, and offers health and wellbeing benefits to those involved.

Through the Be Uplifted festive appeal the CBSO aims to raise funds to ensure that the Choruses can remain accessible to all. Thanks to generous support from longstanding CBSO supporters Maurice and Sheila Millward, all gifts made to the appeal will be match-funded pound for pound up to a total of £10,000.

Alan Titchmarsh first started attending CBSO concerts 25 years ago when based at Pebble Mill, and has since become a regular presenter of the CBSO Christmas concerts at Symphony Hall. Since 2007 he has been a generous donor to the orchestra in his own right, supporting the leader of the orchestra’s position.

Alan Titchmarsh commented: “It’s always a joy to share the stage with the CBSO at Christmas, and in particular to hear its youth and community choirs in full voice. No other UK orchestra has a family of choirs quite like the CBSO’s. The CBSO is determined that the choirs continue to flourish and be accessible to all – but they cost over £100,000 per year to run, so to do so they need our help.”

The Be Uplifted appeal will run throughout the whole of December. It will culminate at the CBSO’s Christmas Festive Favourites concerts, which will be presented by Alan Titchmarsh on 18th, 20th and 21st December.

Gifts can be made online at www.cbso.co.uk/uplifted or through a donation form available by calling 0121 616 6500.