Since its launch in 2009, Leeds Cathedral Choir School has integrated choral music into the life of inner-city Holy Rosary and St Anne’s Catholic Primary School (HRSA), Chapeltown. Our vision of a 21st Century choir school sees every child taught to sing as a part of the core curriculum, with school choirs contributing to the choral activities of the neighbouring Holy Rosary Church and Leeds Cathedral.
Ten years into the project, under the leadership of Choral Director Sally Egan, the Choir School is thriving. Weekly singing sessions are provided throughout the school, from nursery to year six, leading to participation in the school’s outstanding choral groups, which include the Senior Choir, Training Choir and Gospel Choir; all of whom perform regularly in and out of school. Children gain musical skills far beyond those required in ordinary school choirs; many continue to pursue music at secondary school and through extra-curricular opportunities.
The country’s renowned choral heritage now has a home within one of the most disadvantaged areas of West Yorkshire (top 3% of deprivation nationally, IMD 2015), with income, employment, health and crime indicators particularly challenging. For many of the pupils – with 92% from immigrant and BME families – English is an additional language. The power of song embraces the 30+ languages spoken by pupils, with the children performing in English, Latin, Congolese, French, Greek, Igbo, Mandarin, Polish, Spanish and Zulu. This project is celebrated for its ability to break down the cultural barriers surrounding choral singing; uniting and positively impacting on the local community.
Click here for the Choir School Brochure.
‘I feel like I’m in a magical beautiful place; I can express myself when I’m singing, if we didn’t sing school would just feel like nothing…It would be like a blank piece of paper.’
Year 5 student