Press

The Diocese of Leeds has the largest church programme of choral music for young people in the United Kingdom. 

Our Choral Directors work with some 4500 children weekly (over 100 groups across 53 schools), returning to their bases to run our elite choirs; 6 boys’ choirs, 6 girls’ choirs, 5 mixed children’s choirs, 2 youth choirs, 1 university choir and an adult choir, all drawing their membership from our school sessions.

There are two main elements to the system: auditioned choirs for boys and girls and the Diocesan Schools Singing Programme. These two areas of work are complementary and the musical and educational rewards flow into the schools and the liturgical life of the Diocese. 

Click here to read testimonials from schools, choir members and parents.

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 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)

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)

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)

accompanying our fab @DOLMusic Schools Scholars at Leeds Cathedral, a very accomplished sound from these developing tenors and basses...and the essential coffee...

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Transformational school singing in West Yorks - despite Covid-19. @thomas_leech describes our work and challenges cathedrals to open access to their musical treasures @RachelReevesMP @FabianLeedsNE @RichardBurgon @hilarybennmp @TracyBrabin @chiggi @FionaMaddocks @tes

#ICYMI: Where else is it still accepted that an elite opportunity is available to a boy, but not a girl? Or accessible primarily to the 7% of privately educated children? @thomas_leech reflects on cathedral #choirs role in #artseducation https://bit.ly/3iVMF9h

@katharineparton @Paul_McCreesh @Stantclayton @sbsjcc @DOLMusic In fact - we regard the schools work as the centre, and the after-school opportunities as the add-on. You have to prioritise the foundations...

Year 6 really enjoyed their first singing session with @thomas_leech from @DOLMusic. Different than usual but lots of fun! #welovestanthonysclayton @bcw_cat @csptsa @CathEdService

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My voice is changing right now so I’m in this range where I can sing quite high or low, so I can either sing treble or tenor right now! When I sing it gives me more confidence in school and everywhere. The whole choir feels like a community and you get to meet lots of new people as well. My favourite pieces are some of the Glorias, I also like singing in other languages. 13 years old, Leeds Cathedral Senior Boys Choir ... See MoreSee Less

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Today at Leeds Cathedral:

9.30 am Mass (Cantor)

11 am Solemn Mass (Boys)
Missa in Honorem SS Cordis, Andriessen
Hodie & This little babe, Britten
Deo gratias, Britten
... See MoreSee Less

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I feel happy because it just lets all your emotions out. I like singing. My favourite thing about choir is singing, and I’m really excited for the BBC broadcast. We’ve been rehearsing for it since September, since we came back from the holidays. If you feel nervous about singing imagine it’s only you in the room and you’re singing to yourself. When I joined I was really nervous, but my sister was in the choir (she’s in Seniors now) and she helped me to sing. 10 years old, Bradford Junior Choir ... See MoreSee Less

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An excellent BBC rehearsal this afternoon for Bradford Catholic Youth Choir...tune in tomorrow at 10am! ... See MoreSee Less

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