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May 26th, 2017 - From Leeds with Love: a Song for Manchester
From Leeds with Love: a Song for Manchester

On the morning of Tuesday, May 23rd, Leeds Trinity Cathedral Girls’ Choir and their conductor, Lucy Haigh, had a tremendously significant duty to perform. Not only were they leading live worship for BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service, but they were singing over in Manchester less than twelve hours after the terrorist attack.

The Choir was formed just last year to sing for Masses and events at Leeds Trinity University in the Diocese of Leeds and the broadcast meant the choir was uniquely placed to show prayerful solidarity with their neighbours over the Pennines in the Salford Diocese.

It was a deeply moving and a strong signal of hope that the music at this broadcast was led by young girls, in tribute to the youngsters – of the same age and a little older – who had been attending the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, only a couple of miles away.

As well as a hastily re-written script from presenter Dr Paul Mathole, BBC producer, Katharine Longworth - herself a Catholic - had to make some very last-minute changes to the hymns in response to the news as it unfolded that morning.

Thanking the girls’ choir for their quick and sensitive response to the change in mood and repertoire, Director of Music for the Diocese of Leeds, Ben Saunders, said:

‘Listeners would have had no idea that these changes had been made because all was sung with assurance, confidence and meaning.’

 Leeds Cathedral Organist David Pipe’s playing throughout was sensitive and colourful, gently supporting the girls’ young voices, with their clear diction allowing the texts of All My Hope On God Is Founded, Peter Hurford’s anthem, Sweet Spirit, Comfort Me and The King Of Love My Shepherd Is to speak words of faith and reassurance.

 The Daily Service is the world’s longest-running religious broadcast. It was initiated during the 1920’s for those who: ‘…long to hear something daily of God and His love.’ The programme has an oecumenical list of presenters and responds both editorially and musically to events for which the nation might wish to join in prayer. Listen live each weekday morning at 09.45 hrs on BBC R4 Long Wave and on DAB digital radio and you can listen again via iPlayer on the BBC Radio 4 website for 30 days.

Follow this link to listen to the broadcast from 23rd May:


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