Liturgical Music at the Cathedral
The Cathedral has five dedicated choirs which perform in rotation, singing at a total of eight services each week. Vespers and Mass are sung every weekday (except Friday) alongside the principal Sunday services.
For details of the repertoire sung at services, view our music list.
Leeds Cathedral Choirs
The Choirs of Leeds Cathedral draw their membership exclusively from inner-city Leeds state schools with children recruited through our weekly Schools Singing Programme sessions. The children and young people within our choirs reflect the diversity of our city with over 50% of the 158 children singing at the Cathedral from a black and minority ethnic heritage.
Formed in September 2014 this choir consists of children aged between 5-9, many of whom later graduate to the Junior Cathedral Boys’ or Girls’ Choir. Children’s Choir members are selected from primary schools in our Schools Singing Programme, while other children audition from outside. Membership of the choir offers children the opportunity to develop their musical and vocal skills, make new friends with similar interests, and perform to a high standard. They sing a varied repertoire of sacred and secular music and have already been heard on CD.
The Junior Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs consist of around 60 children aged between 6-11 who have been recruited through the Schools Singing Programme and Cathedral Children’s Choir. These choirs provide opportunities to meet like-minded children and current members are drawn from 15 different state primary schools across Leeds. The choirs have appeared on the BBC’s Songs of Praise and Midnight Mass from Leeds Cathedral and have been heard on on BBC Radio 2 and 4 including Sunday Worship and the Daily Service.
Members of the Senior Choirs aged between 11-16 sing weekly services at the Cathedral and regularly perform in prestigious venues including Leeds Town Hall and the Clothworkers Concert Hall. They have broadcast nationally many times on BBC Television and Radio to considerable critical acclaim and have recorded Duruflé and Arvo Pärt’s complete choral works with the Brilliant Classics label. The repertoire of these choirs is centred on Medieval Chant and Renaissance Polyphony, with the choristers fluent in reading both modern and Gregorian notation.
The Scholars’ Choir – acknowledged as one of the finest in the country – has 25 members comprising School Scholars, aged 12-18, and University Student Choral Scholars. The choir sings cathedral services every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday during term time and performs regularly in BBC broadcasts, concerts and recordings – most recently Choral Vespers on BBC Radio 3 in November 2022. This choir provides opportunities to develop a range of professional-level performance skills and supports members with preparation for music exams, university and conservatoire auditions, and recitals.
Members of the Cathedral Choirs are drawn from our Schools Singing Programme sessions in local schools. If our team of Choral Directors do not visit your child’s school and they are interested in joining one of our choirs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0113 244 8634 to arrange an audition.
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