The Controller’s Monthly Note from Radio 3 informed me of a new role that may fail a test of utility. They have appointed the artistic director of Music and the Deaf to sign a prom.
This Prom will be the first ever ‘signed Prom’. Dr Paul Whittaker, artistic director of Music and the Deaf will guide the audience in the hall through the music of Stephen Sondheim in the company of the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by David Charles Abell (above).
Music and the Deaf is a worthwhile charity that aids deaf pupils who wish to learn how to read music and play instruments. Supporting this minority endeavour through private philanthropy and voluntary contribution is admirable for those who are interested in this cause.
One must ask if private encouragement requires public support: and if it does, whether a ‘signed prom’ meets that requirement. Music is enjoyed by people who can hear, not by the deaf. This is a fact. Allowing the Orchestra of the Deaf to play gives public evidence that the deaf do not need tobe prevented from studying music.
A ‘signed prom’ is a sop to the irrational and a waste of public money.