The BBC Performing Arts Fund today announces a brand new scheme for choirs called Choral Ambition.

The scheme provides funding for the support and development of choirs across the UK and Northern Ireland and opens for applications today, Monday 7 September, and closes on Friday 30 October 2009.

The scheme is open to adult choirs of any genre – children’s choirs (although not school choirs primarily funded by the LEA), choirs that are private and independently constituted, and choirs that perform any genre of music.

A choir must be a group of eight or more individual singers who meet and rehearse towards a live performance. They must sing at least two parts. This should be taken to include vocal groups as well.

Choirs can be accompanied or a cappella and performances must be open to the public and must be based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

In total £200,000 in funding will be awarded. The maximum amount available to a single choir will be £4,000 and the minimum amount awarded will be £500.

The grant can be used for commissioning new music, training and development, master-classes and workshops or projects to attract new members.

Choirs can apply online at

Miriam O’Keeffe, Project Manager of the Performing Arts Fund, said: “The BBC Performing Arts Fund is committed to helping individuals and groups to reach their musical potential by providing funding and support.

“Following the success of Last Choir Standing, and building on the BBC’s long association with singing through programmes such as Choir Of The Year on BBC Radio 3, The Choir on BBC Two, Songs Of Praise and the BBC Proms, the fund in association with Making Music is delighted to launch this new scheme that will award funding to choirs.

“Funding for training and development as well as commissioning of new music will nurture and sustain choirs and singing groups of every shape and sound, in diverse communities across the UK, allowing them to stretch their creative wings and continue to thrive.”