Bradford Catholic Youth Choir (BCYC) provides outstanding vocal opportunities for young singers across the Bradford, Bingley and Keighley areas – could someone YOU know join one of our fabulous groups?

Bradford Catholic Youth Choir (BCYC) comprises five separate choirs, kindly supported by St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College and St Joseph’s Church, Bradford. The choirs rehearse weekly during term time, with junior choirs in Bradford, Bingley and Keighley and senior boys’ and girls’ choirs based at St Bede’s and St Joseph’s. The choirs’ members are drawn from schools in the Blessed Christopher Wharton Catholic Academy Trust (BCWCAT) and benefit from expert vocal tuition from professional Choral Directors. The children sing regularly for Mass at St Joseph’s, Bradford and other churches in the Bradford and Keighley deaneries, take part in concerts and competitions, and have broadcasts on BBC Radio and television, most recently Sunday Worship on BBC Radio 4 in December 2022, which featured the choirs and staff and children from schools across the BCWCAT.

BCYC was the first northern choir invited to take part in the Gabrieli Consort’s youth choir training programme, Gabrieli Roar. It recorded with the world-famous consort in 2018 and sang Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Ely Cathedral in July 2023. Other performance highlights have included singing for Pope Benedict XVI at the Beatification of St John Henry Newman in Birmingham, the 2014 World Choir Games in Latvia, St Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2019, and several performances with the Orchestra of Opera North.

 

The Choirs

 

Junior Choirs

Open to primary school students from Years 3 to Year 6.

  • Bradford Junior Choir, St Joseph’s Primary School, Park Lane, Bradford, Wednesdays 4 pm to 5 pm
  • Bingley Junior Choir, St Joseph’s Primary School, Crownest Road, Bingley, Tuesdays 3.45 pm to 5 pm
  • Keighley Junior Choir, St Joseph’s Primary School, Queen’s Road, Keighley, Wednesdays, 4 pm to 5 pm

 

Senior Choirs

Open to high school students who demonstrate excellent participation in our school singing sessions. Both choirs are based at St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College, Bradford.

  • Senior Girls’ Choir: Mondays, 4 pm to 5.30 pm
  • Senior Boys’ Choir: Thursdays, 4 pm to 5.30 pm

No previous experience of singing is necessary!

Through the generous support of the schools in the BCWCAT, St Joseph’s Church, Bradford, local trusts and foundations and individual donors, all of our choirs are FREE to attend. All we ask is that families consider a monthly donation to our Music Fund if they are able to.

If you, your child or someone you know is interested in joining, please contact us via office@dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk or 0113 244 8634. Please indicate your child’s name, current school and year group, and which choir would suit your child best.

 

Why sing in a choir?

Choir members past and present, parents and school staff have told us that singing has helped them grow in confidence and ambition to fulfil their potential:

‘My experiences with the Bradford Catholic Boys’ Choir have shaped me as a person. Growing up in inner-city Bradford with limited options, the choir gave me the confidence to aspire to more. From singing vespers at the local church to performing on TV in front of millions, each experience has proven invaluable in my life journey and I will continue to draw on the lessons of resilience and perseverance gained here as I move on to my next chapter at the University of Oxford.’

— Joshua Chima, former member of Bradford Catholic Boys’ Choir

 

‘The children, parents and staff of St William’s have achieved so much from the Diocese of Leeds Music staff’s dedication, expertise and joy for singing. The children’s enjoyment is evident in all our singing experiences throughout the year and visitors comment on how well they engage. Parents have been most impressed with the quality that they perform as a class, whole school or during Trust concerts and it is to your credit that we can enjoy such high standards of singing at our school and across our Trust – we are extremely proud and grateful to you!’

— Mrs F Parker, Headteacher, St William’s Catholic Primary School, Bradford

 

The following list of benefits has been collated from feedback from previous and existing participants, their parents and their teachers.

 

Social benefits

  • Making new friends.
  • Working in a group and listening to other people’s ideas.
  • Responding to instructions in a different way and improved listening skills.
  • A greater willingness to take part in new activities, both in and out of school.
  • Improved peer relationships.
  • A marked increase in confidence, self-esteem, sense of belonging and inclusion.
  • The development of a sense of self-control and discipline, which feeds into other areas of the young person’s educational and social development.

 

Musical benefits

  • Singing in parts and in unison.
  • Greater control of pitch and increased aural memory.
  • The development of a sense of phrase and musical expression.
  • Practising, rehearsing and presenting performances with an awareness of the audience.
  • A greater understanding of dynamics, rhythm and tone.
  • The chance to work and perform alongside professional choral directors, orchestras and soloists.
  • Children who are not academically gifted are given an outlet to shine through music/singing.

 

Faith benefits

  • Formation through the sacred texts they sing.
  • Active contribution to the life of the Church through singing for Mass.
    Draws children and families into the Church.
  • Music lifts hearts and minds to God beyond a daily routine.
  • A genuine experience of joy through the choir environment.
  • A divine spark can be sown through music.
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