The Diocese of Leeds has the largest programme of choral music for young people in the United Kingdom. Our Choral Directors work with around 6,500 children weekly (over 150 groups across 70 schools), returning to their bases to run our 19 elite choirs, including the seven Choirs of Leeds Cathedral. Work in schools and after-school choirs is complementary, and the musical and educational rewards flow into the liturgical life of the Diocese.

The development of the choral programme is facilitated by a financial partnership with schools and has been the subject of a number of press articles and news reports in recent years. A selection of these is reproduced below by the kind permission of the publishers and broadcasters.

Songs of Praise – Primary School Choirs (© BBC Television) 

Songs of Praise – Bradford Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs (© BBC Television)

News report – Chapeltown Choir School Project (© BBC Television)

News report – Singing to Pope Benedict (© BBC Television)

Put away your earplugs … UK children are ditching screeching recorders for mellifluous melodicas (© 2023 The Observer)

The schools singing programme made in Yorkshire (© 2023 Music Teacher)

‘Hallelujah! The church choirs that are getting everyone singing’ (© 2023 The Times)

‘Meet the organisation making the choral tradition accessible to all…’ (© 2023 Premier Christian Radio)

‘Cathedrals on song for state schools’ (© 2023 The Times)

‘Choirs can give children strength and purpose’ (© 2023 The Times)

‘Six cathedrals to join programme that promotes singing opportunities at state schools’ (© 2023 Church Times)

‘Sunday: Attacks on refugees; Orthodoxy in Ukraine; school singing project’ (© 2023 BBC Radio 4)

Keeping up the choral tradition: the National Schools Singing Programme (© 2022 FundEd)

Keyboard Studies Programme tackles underfunding in music education with melodica (© 2022 Classical Music: MA Education Ltd, a part of the Mark Allen Group)

Leeds music lessons given boost by use of melodica thanks to Keyboard Studies Programme (© 2022 Yorkshire Evening Post)

A new starter instrument for the United Kingdom’s next generation of musical virtuosos (© 2022 FE News)

National Schools Singing Programme Celebrates Inaugural Conference and Unveils Ambitious Plans for Expansion (© 2022 FE News)

“Collaboration is key”: Inside the National Schools Singing Programme (© 2022 Music Mark)

Generous funding transforms singing in schools (© 2021 Royal College of Organists, reprinted from StopPress, the online magazine for organists and choral directors)

Choirs and the joy of singing this Christmas – Bishop Marcus Stock (© 2021 Yorkshire Evening Post)

Confident, cultural and Catholic – how one diocese beat the lockdown with online music classes (© 2021 The Catholic Universe)

Partnerships, Schools Singing Programme, Diocese of Leeds (© 2021 Ensemble Magazine, Music Teachers’ Association) 

Leeds Cathedral…We don’t do outreach! (© 2021 Cathedral Voice, Friends of Cathedral Music)

From strength to strength in Leeds (© 2019 Royal College of Organists)

Past Hymns (© 2018 Music Teacher Magazine)

A Top-flight Choir (© 2018 Catholic Herald)

Schools Singing Programme (© 2017 The American Organist)

Where will our next generation of organists come from? (© 2017 Organists’ Review)

Singing Our Praises (© 2016 Royal School of Church Music)

Its all about the music for Leeds Choirs (© 2016 Catholic Universe)

Finding their voices (© 2016 The Tablet)

Medal Glory for Bradford Girls (© 2014 Catholic Universe)

Sure Foundation (© 2014 Music Teacher)

Leeds Diocese Youth Choirs (© 2014 Catholic Life)

Leeds Cathedral leads the way (© 2013 Organists’ Review)

The heart of cathedral music (© 2012 Cathedral Music Magazine)

New appointment at Leeds (© 2012 Friends of Cathedral Music)

Singing for the Pope (© 2010 Times Educational Supplement)

New Cathedral Organ (© 2010 Organists’ Review)

Choristry revival (© 2010 Bath Abbey Music Society)

Inner-city voices (© 2010 Yorkshire Evening Post)

First state primary turns choir school (© 2009 Times Educational Supplement)

A week in the life of a Choral Director (© 2009 Diocese of Leeds)

Singing in Leeds Diocese (© 2009 Association of British Choral Directors)

Roll out the choirs (© 2008 Classical Music Magazine)

Laying Solid Foundations (© 2008 Choir and Organ Magazine)

Sing Choirs of Schoolkids (© 2007 The Tablet)

Redefining Outreach (© 2007 Royal School of Church Music)

A New Model (© 2006 Friends Cathedral Music Magazine)

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Applications now open for Choral and Organ Scholarships at Leeds Cathedral 2024–25Our scholarships offer superb opportunities for ambitious students looking to develop a range of professional-level musical skills. The Cathedral Choir – acknowledged as one of the finest in the country – sings daily services, with the Choral Scholars singing on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings.For more information or to arrange an audition, contact ... See MoreSee Less
‘I am delighted to become a Patron of the National Schools Singing Programme. It is a truly groundbreaking initiative bringing the benefits and joys of singing and learning together to primary schools while also rapidly broadening the foundations of the UK’s world-leading choral tradition. As a composer who has always enjoyed writing music for young choirs to sing, I have witnessed at first hand the thrill of children learning to read music and exploring the potential of their voices in schools, churches and cathedrals. What a marvellous gift the NSSP is giving to our future choral community!’John Rutter CBE16 May 2024 ... See MoreSee Less
The coming week's sung liturgies at Leeds Cathedral - we are delighted to welcome students from Vanderbilt University Music to our programme this week!On Sunday our choirs are also singing Masses at St Joseph's, Bradford, St Patrick's, Huddersfield, and St Robert's, Harrogate.Leeds International Organ Festival continues with the Monday lunchtime recital given by Kamil Mika. ... See MoreSee Less