I think I am guilty of some sort of inverted snobbery just now. Let me explain. Last week I watched the junior semi-final of the Songs of Praise choir competition, and today will almost certainly watch the seniors. Each choir offers an amazing, wonderfully polished performance... and so far as I can ascertain every last one is composed of privileged children. The majority are private/independent schools - fee-paying schools - with access to resources your average state school simply does not have. Even the few state school come from 'nice' places where support for music and singing is likely to be good. They sing beautifully, they have a lovely outing and get to be on television. I am pleased for them.
But then I think of the school choir that joins with us for worship a couple of times a year. A state primary in east Glasgow. Not from a 'sink' estates, just ordinary decent kids from ordinary decent homes. They wouldn't get a look in with such a competition if they even aspired to enter.
Or I think of the choir of Dibley primary, who came and sang in our community carol service once, their families swelling the congregation significantly. Far from perfect (as a few folk were quick to point out, sadly) but enthusiastic and gaining so much from participation. They, too, were they brave enough to enter, would be knocked back early on.
And it annoys me. I get that only the best can make the final. But it isn't a level playing field. I don't know how it could be levelled, but I feel it needs to be.
So, tonight I will be rooting for the Welsh school, Ysgol y Strade, as it is the only state school in the senior section.
Apologies to those lovely readers who were privately educated, I don't hold it against you, just think it'd be so good if maybe the opportunities could be distributed more widely.