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All of the BBC's Orchestras and Singers record performances primarily for BBC Radio 3, with the exception of the BBC Concert Orchestra which also has a dual role shared with BBC Radio 2. Recordings are either taken from one of around 400 live concerts each year with an audience, or from studio sessions.
Unusually for BBC departments, all of the ensembles also take part in a number of non-broadcast activities, including festival appearances and international touring, and in education work within their regional communities.
The ensembles managed in England report to the Controller of Radio 3 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra reporting to BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Scotland respectively.
In 2012, John Myerscough was commissioned to report on potential financial savings of the BBC's Orchestras and Singers. He recommended no more than 10% budget cuts, highlighting the ensembles' successful range of work.
The two choruses, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC National Chorus of Wales, are volunteer choristers and are not paid a salary. The BBC Singers are the UK's only full-time professional chamber choir, and along with the five orchestras, they are full-time salaried musicians whose pay is negotiated with the Musicians' Union (United Kingdom).
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