About abcd

President: John Rutter CBE
Vice-presidents: Brian Kay and Susan Hollingworth

Promoting, improving and maintaining opportunities for the professional development of everyone leading singing, amateur and professional, in the classroom and the community.

Our vision is of a world where well-led choral singing enriches everyone's lives and where abcd enables every leader of choral singing in the UK easily to access appropriate support for their development.

The Association of British Choral Directors (abcd) is the leading UK organisation devoted entirely to supporting everyone leading choral music. We are committed to promoting, improving and maintaining opportunities for the professional development of all those leading singing of any kind, whether in the classroom or in the community. Our members represent nearly 2000 choral groups and include teachers, composers, singers and students, leading singing of all kinds.

What we do

  • Support, resources and advice for all choral leaders and their choirs.
  • Quality training for all singing leaders. We run courses and workshops throughout the UK, using a network of the best choral leadership trainers in the country, including training for teachers, a young choral leaders' programme and conducting courses from Initial to Advanced, from one-day workshops and masterclasses to courses running over several months.
  • A collective voice for singing leaders. During the COVID-19 pandemic we campaigned widely on behalf of our members and the choral world for a fair deal for singing, more research into singing safely and for financial support for professional musicians. Our WellRehearsed app, developed with Making Music, helped gather vital data to make the case for safe singing for everyone. As as we get back to making music together, it's still vital to have a collective voice.
  • Online resources. Our resources cover practical tips and advice for choral leaders of all kinds. Members get free access to our webinar library with a huge range of topics.
  • National choral events. For over thirty years our Annual Convention has provided a unique national forum for choral leaders with workshops by leading practitioners from the UK and abroad and performances from invited international choirs.

Join us today

To take full advantage of what abcd can offer, why not join us?

We welcome anyone and everyone involved in leading singers, whether you've just been persuaded to take over your school choir and don't know where to start, you conduct a church choir, a cathedral choir, a chamber choir, a choral society or a community choir - or all of those. We also offer business membership options for music organisations of any kind, large and small.

Membership gives you advice and guidance for you and your choir, discounted rates on our courses and events, a 15% discount at musicroom.com and a wide range of exclusive member-only resources and events.

Find out more about membership here.

Our history

abcd was formed in July 1986 at Oxford, following a weekend of choral activity, in response to a demand from leading British choral directors, composers and publishers. Its purpose is to promote, improve and maintain the education, training and development of choral directors with a view to improving standards in all sectors of choral activity by:

  • the organisation of regional and national training courses and conventions;
  • commissioning and publishing regular newsletters and other items of information;
  • the encouragement of both the composition of choral music and a closer contact between choral composers and conductors;
  • co-operation and liaison with other relevant regional, national and international organisations with aims and objectives complementary to those of the Association.

You can read our latest annual report here.

Support our work

abcd is busy, active organisation. We exist without any core funding. Most of our revenue comes from our members' subscriptions, project funding from Trusts and Foundations, and small surpluses made on our courses and events. As we emerge from the pandemic, in order to continue to grow and to fulfil our ambitions, we need your help. Any donation, however large or small, makes a difference.

Click here to find out more.

Our supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Worshipful Company of Marketors in the production of a marketing report for us, which is helping us produce our next Five Year Plan.