Gareth Malone OBE patron Canterbury Choral Society


Gareth Malone OBE has helped galvanise and inspire the British choral scene through his award-winning BBC series, concert tours, and recordings.

Announcing why he is delighted to become the new Patron, Gareth explained:

“Encouraging young people from all backgrounds to be excited about quality music making and its benefits is so important to me. CCS cares about reaching out to those who don’t always have the opportunity to sing in such exciting settings and to such a high standard.”


Canterbury Choral Society is a community adult and Youth Choir that aspires to deliver professional standards, accompanied by professional orchestras.

Richard Cooke, who has directed Canterbury Choral Society (CCS) for 39 years, says,

“We are thrilled that Gareth Malone has agreed to become our Patron. Gareth’s appeal and experience of reaching out to give people a chance to sing, especially opening doors for young people and the wider community, entirely coincide with the aims of Canterbury Choral Society and our Youth Choir.”


In 2007, after a period of complaining about the lack of quality music-making, especially singing, in state schools, Richard established the CCS Youth Choir made up of children aged 7-16. The Youth Choir joins the adult choir performing significant choral works in Canterbury Cathedral.

Almost all current Youth Choir members are state-school-educated.

Richard considers this Youth Choir as one of the most rewarding aspects of his career.

“I see the difference that it makes to children’s lives and to their prospects as adults. It is an experience too often limited to a privileged few. ”

Gareth Malone shares this understanding.

“I am thrilled and honoured to become Patron of Canterbury Choral Society. I’m inspired by their dynamism and continuing efforts in encouraging young members from the community to join and realise the benefits that singing brings to their lives. I look forward to an enduring association supporting Canterbury Choral Society as Patron.”


Alongside the announcement of Gareth Malone OBE as Patron, CCS is launching a revised Friends and Benefactors scheme to provide greater financial support including bursaries, and to ensure the long-term health of the choir. The new scheme invites those individuals, foundations, and businesses who understand the value of choral music to take the opportunity to join in supporting its future.

Richard Cooke concludes,

“The opportunity for our singers to experience working to a high level and combining with the top professional orchestras and solo singers brings great rewards. We look forward to Gareth engaging with us in the coming months and years.”