I don’t know much about politics. I know even less about the economy and I’m not entirely sure I understand that much about the European Union or indeed what it does for Britain. I also don’t do a lot of business outside of the UK – although I did run a choir workshop in Berlin once. So therefore, it’s slightly curious that I am given a say in whether or not we should remain in the EU.
The nice people on Radio 4, following BBC etiquette, are very kindly giving me an unbiased view of the EU Debate every morning. Which is terribly British and nice of them, but not actually very helpful because the BBC has to remain impartial on such matters. So I decided to do a bit more research and see what everyone else thinks.
Some people I’ve heard of who think we should stay in Europe include David Cameron, the Governor of the Bank of England, the Chief Executive of the NHS, Kofi Annan and the Director General of the World Trade Organisation. Some pretty large organisations also think we should stay in. These include people in charge of M&S, BT, Asda, Vodafone, IBM and BMW, as well as Richard Branson who’s basically in charge of the world anyway!
Then on the other side of the debate, you have the people who think we should leave the EU. These apparently include Katie Hopkins, Nigel Farrage, Donald Trump and the BNP.
Despite all this, from what I can see the biggest issue with the EU referendum is that it’s a one way ticket. Whatever is decided on 23 June has to stay in place pretty much forever. And this brings me to my point which is that joining a choir is therefore a much better idea.
I currently run 5 choirs, some of which are un-auditioned Community Choirs and I’m always keen to encourage new members to join. The thing is, there are now thousands of choirs all over the UK. So anyone who wants to join a choir basically just has to ask themselves what sort of music they want to sing and what type of choir they fancy being part of. It could be a chamber choir which sings un accompanied sacred music, a mixed group that sings to backing tracks or it might be a staff choir or a single sex choir. The point is that everyone has a choice. And when I promote my choirs I am very aware of this. I’m also aware that the type of choirs I run aren’t necessarily for everyone. I don’t use backing tracks and I focus quite a lot of musicality and technique. I don’t expect people to read music but I do aim to achieve the best results possible and I suppose I run my choirs as if they are all auditioned semi professional groups.
Naturally some people like this and some don’t. This is why if you’re thinking of joining one of my choirs, you can come to a rehearsal and listen / join in before deciding whether to come along the following week and pay a small weekly fee (usually around £3 or £4). Even then, beyond paying for a few weeks at a time, you aren’t committed. So if it’s not for you then plenty of other choirs are available and would welcome you with open arms.
Unfortunately, however, the EU referendum isn’t giving us this chance. So, whatever your view on June 23rd, please vote carefully!
Jules Addison is a Choirmaster and Music Producer from Wiltshire. He doesn’t know anything about politics, the economy or the European Union.