Creativity in a Crisis

During the coronavirus outbreak, we believe fulfilling our mission of making music education and performance opportunities accessible to all children and young people across the Diocese of Leeds is now more important than ever.

Studies show that music, particularly singing, contributes to broader learning across the curriculum, as well as improving mental and physical well-being and building cohesion. During the coronavirus outbreak, these benefits will prove even more worthwhile whilst choristers are confined to their homes. Keeping children busy and maintaining a sense of routine will also be a great help to families at this time.

We have worked hard to move our choral, school and instrumental programmes online, and have been delivering our full programme of rehearsals since 30th March. Read on to find out how our staff are continuing to reach thousands of young people across our region.

YouTube singing reaches thousands 

Our expert Choral Directors are inspiring schools and families with their brilliant online singing sessions, with nearly 20,000 views so far! The daily sessions include an uplifting mix of sacred and secular songs, music curriculum, vocal learning and LOTS of fun. In addition we have a weekly early years session and secondary school pop choir. 

Watch and subscribe now >>

Choirs thrive online

‘This is even better than normal choir’ – one chorister is clearly having a great time in our online rehearsals! We continue to provide our choirs with their regular rehearsal schedule, finding new ways to explore music, provide focus and most importantly retain the sense of belonging and community within the 18 groups rehearsing every week. Innovative teaching methods are allowing the children to learn new music, develop musicianship and music theory skills, contribute to regular recordings and keep in touch with their choir friends!

‘Both our children loved their session today – they even put on their choir ties! I loved seeing their smiles and we couldn’t help but notice yours too.’

Choir Parent

Instrumental teaching continues through lockdown

The Organists’ Training Programme is now reaching 35 students through online organ, piano and accordion lessons every week. One parent describes the positive impact this is having on her daughter:

‘The online instrumental teaching Mr Pipe has provided my 11-year-old daughter through this period of lockdown has been invaluable. The half-hour weekly lessons have ensured that she continues to develop and learn even though she is not attending school. Working at home on the piano rather than an organ has not been a barrier to her progress. Mr Pipe has found ways to exchange music and ensure she hits the ground running at the start of each lesson. The fast-paced, fun online teaching has ensured that my daughter remains committed, enthusiastic and focused from week to week. Mr Pipe has continued to impart his vast knowledge, expertise and passion, bringing music and the organ to life at home.’

BBC Radio 4

On Sunday 3 May, the BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme featured the work of our singing programme, looking at how we’ve moved our 18 after-school choirs online and continued to reach our school communities through daily YouTube singing sessions led by our Choral Directors.

Leeds Cathedral Choir School is still singing!

Holy Rosary and St Anne’s Primary School in Chapeltown is home to the Leeds Cathedral Choir School. Their Choral Director, Sally Egan, is now recording sessions from home to keep the children and their families singing:

‘Singing brings us so much joy as a school community and we are determined to keep that flame alive, throughout the lockdown. We have set up a new Choir School Youtube Channel where we post songs, Family Singing Sessions and hymns in keeping with the Liturgical Calendar. We are using the new resources as a focus in school and we have asked families to send us videos of the children singing along at home so that we can post them on the school Facebook page.

Continuing to take the lead

Following the success of our April Webinar: Practical Approaches to Cathedral Choir Rehearsals Online, we hosted another national webinar on the 12th May titled Transformation or Extinction? Planning for the New Normal. This session considered longer-term issues for music-making under lockdown. Read more >>

#GivingTuesdayNow

On the 5th May we celebrated #GivingTuesdayNow with thousands of other charities around the world. On this global day of unity and giving, we wanted to thank our staff, choir members, school communities and donors all of whom are making our work possible during these difficult circumstances!

This day also enabled us to highlight our Coronavirus Appeal which has now raised over £1,000. Can you help us reach £2,000? Please consider texting CHURCH MUSIC to 70500 to contribute £5 to the Coronavirus Emergency Music Appeal.

Leeds International Organ Festival LIVE

We’re delighted that the billed Monday recitalists for Leeds International Organ Festival 2020 are generously providing video and audio clips for us to broadcast on our LIOF YouTube channel each week, so that everyone can enjoy these world-class performers from the comfort of their own homes.

Tune in each Monday at 1.15 pm for these online lunchtime recitals at lioflive.org.uk 

We are thrilled to announce the release of our new podcast, ‘Pipe up! The Organ Podcast’. Episodes are released weekly and are hosted by David Pipe, the Festival’s Artistic Director, who’ll be joined by guests to chat about the online Monday recital series. Guests will include some of the recitalists themselves, alongside composers, conductors and music journalists.

The first episode was released on Friday 15th May and is available on popular podcast platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

All Souls' at Leeds Cathedral
Tuesday 2nd November
𝟱.𝟯𝟬𝗽𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀' 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)
Requiem, Duruflé

All Saints' at Leeds Cathedral
Sunday 31st October
𝟵.𝟭𝟱𝗮𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗖𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿)
𝟭𝟭𝗮𝗺 𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀' 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)
Gaudeamus, Gregorian
Messe Solennelle, Vierne
Jubilate Deo a8, Gabrieli
Allegro risoluto, Vierne

Here's some lovely feedback just in from a school's music lead in Leeds (1/3):
'I cannot compliment your Choral Director enough; The children are so excited when they come in on a Wednesday morning for the lessons and are bouncing off the walls after.

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20 hours ago

Diocese of Leeds Music
Internationally acclaimed accordionist Valerie Barr joined our Keyboard Studies Programme team in September, rolling out accordion teaching and our brand new whole class melodica programme. "𝘐 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘴. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘻𝘻 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬. 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘓𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢 𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘴𝘰 𝘧𝘢𝘳." ... See MoreSee Less
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All Saints' and All Souls' at Leeds CathedralSunday 31st October (All Saints')𝟵.𝟭𝟱𝗮𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗖𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿)𝟭𝟭𝗮𝗺 𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀' 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)Gaudeamus, GregorianMesse Solennelle, VierneJubilate Deo a8, GabrieliOrgan: Allegro risoluto (Symphony 2), VierneTuesday 2nd November (All Souls')𝟱.𝟯𝟬𝗽𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀' 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)Requiem, Duruflé ... See MoreSee Less
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Back in September, five new full time staff joined our team as we expanded our provision in schools across the Diocese, we're so delighted to have them on board! Will is one of our new Choral Directors, working with schools and choirs in Leeds, Harrogate and Ripon."𝘖𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘪𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘓𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘴, 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳-𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘴, 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘨𝘰𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩-𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘠𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘳𝘦. 𝘔𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘧-𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮 — 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘳𝘢-𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘪𝘳𝘴 — 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺, 𝘥𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘮'𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦. 𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘪𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘓𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘴 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘋𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘴: 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦.” ... See MoreSee Less
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As we get to half-term, a huge thank you to all our colleagues; they've worked so hard in schools, with keyboard pupils and with choirs so far this term, and well done to all our choir members too!Here's some lovely feedback just in from a school's music lead in Leeds:'I cannot compliment your Choral Director enough; The children are so excited when they come in on a Wednesday morning for the lessons and are bouncing off the walls after. They sing beautifully (so beautifully, I have decided to start a school choir to help compliment the teaching) but they improve their confidence which is an immeasurable thing for a young child. We recently had a parents evening and most of the parents mentioned to me their child's love for singing, this has never happened to me before at any school and I know it is down to your singing sessions.'Happy half-term! 🎶🎵🎵🎶 ... See MoreSee Less
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Today at Leeds Cathedral:𝟭𝟬𝗮𝗺 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗦𝗵𝗲𝗽𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗱 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲with school groups from the Schools Singing Programme𝟱.𝟯𝟬𝗽𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀' 𝗖𝗵𝗼𝗶𝗿)Qui habitas, GregorianMissa XVI, GregorianTerra tremuit, BárdosAnima Christi, Frisina ... See MoreSee Less
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