Pensacola Christian College abruptly postponed the group’s scheduled concert on Saturday, February 11, The King’s Singers announced on Monday night.
The main vocal group released a statement on social media expressing their “great sadness” about the cancellation.
The vocalists said that the school cited “concerns” about the members of the group’s “lifestyle” as the reason for the cancellation.
Following inquiries from the general public and college students on the cancellation, the singers stated, “It has become evident to us that these worries pertained to the sexuality of members of our group.”
“We have performed at Pensacola Christian College before and we entered into the engagement in the knowledge that this is a fundamentalist Christian institution,” the group added in its statement. “Our belief is that music can build a common language that allows people with different views and perspectives to come together.
“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 4000 students of the college and the wider Pensacola community.
“We hope that any conversations that follow might encourage a greater sense of love, acceptance and inclusion.”
The King’s Singers said they “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’s North American tour will continue this week in Canada.
Following the singers’ declaration, other musicians, such as organist Anna Lapwood, composer Christopher Tin, mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, and Westminster Abbey organist and master of the choristers, Andrew Nethsingha, have sent them words of support and sympathy.
Their remark was described as “a masterclass in dignified restraint” by baritone Roderick Williams.
Later, in response, Pensacola Christian College released a statement on social media that read: “The college cannot knowingly give an implied or direct endorsement of anything that violates the Holy Scripture.”