The King’s Singers: US gig cancelled over sexuality
Florida's Pensacola Christian College abruptly cancelled the gig, claiming that a performer's lifestyle 'contradicts scripture'
The multi-award-winning a cappella group The King’s Singers has revealed that a Christian college in the USA abruptly cancelled a recent performance by the group, citing the sexuality of some of its members.
The six-piece ensemble, based in Cambridge, has explained that it was given just two hours' notice of the cancellation by Pensacola Christian College (PCC) in Florida.
The official reason that PCC gave for cancelling the gig, programmed for Saturday 11 February, was that a performer 'maintained a lifestyle that contradicts scripture'.
In a further statement, PCC explained that 'the college cannot knowingly give an implied or direct endorsement of anything that violates holy scripture, the foundation for our sincerely held beliefs.'
The King's Singers revealed that the incident was the first time a performance had been cancelled at short notice in its history. 'This is the first time that anything other than bad weather, the pandemic or war has caused a concert cancellation in our 55-year history.
'We are disappointed not to have been able to share our music and our mission of finding harmony with over 400 students of the college and thew wider Pensacola community. We hope that any conversations that follow might encourage a greater sense of love, acceptance and inclusion.'
'It has become clear to us, from a flood of correspondence from students and members of the public, that these concerns related to the sexuality of members of our group,' the group added.
'Our belief is that music can build a common language that allows people with different views and perspectives to come together.'
The King’s Singers has previously performed at the college without problems, and was aware of the school's fundamentalist Christian background.
'We look forward to seeing our friends in northern Florida again soon, in a context where we're celebrated for who we are, as well as for the music we make,' the group said.
Pensacola Christian College is a Christian school of about 4,000 students based in north-west Florida. The school 'educates students based on biblical values', according to its website.
More broadly, it notes that 'Pensacola Christian College maintains a Christian-traditional philosophy of education in contrast to humanistic, progressive systems of education. This philosophy is based on the word of God and is rooted in objective reality and absolutes, as opposed to relativism.'
One section of the website specifies that 'the scripture forbids any form of sexual immorality including adultery, fornication, homosexuality.'
The King's Singers plans to continue its North American tour this week.
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Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.