The Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme is recognised as the UK’s leading choral singing provision, reaching 6,000 children weekly, both during and outside the school day in around 150 choral groups. These include the six choirs of Leeds Cathedral and boys’ and girls’ choirs in Bradford, Keighley, Huddersfield, Ripon, Harrogate, Wakefield and Pontefract.

We focus on areas of social marginalisation and economic deprivation, striving to offer the best musical opportunities in those communities least likely to encounter them. Our Choral Directors work in 66 state schools, enthusing about the benefits gained by children in academic and behavioural outcomes. Although our work is closely linked to the Diocese’s programme of music and performance, there is no requirement of faith and we work with young people from all faiths and none. We use choral music to provide an excellent standard of musical training and inspiration. 

To date, our Programme has inspired over 25,000 young people, aged 5-21. Many progress through our system of after-school choirs rehearsing weekly and performing regularly at Leeds Cathedral and other prestigious venues. Last year, our choirs broadcast eight services on BBC Radio 3 and 4. Our Bradford Choirs perform and record with the Gabrieli Consort and broadcast the Christmas Day service on BBC One in 2019. We maintain a consistent level of good practice and our team are frequently requested to act as advisers to other UK and American institutions on the establishment and ongoing management of music programmes for young people.

Click here for the Schools Singing Programme brochure.

‘I joined Bradford Youth Choir at 9 years old.  During my 7 years as a choir member I had the opportunity to travel to Germany, take part in many competitions and make life long friends and memories.  BYC inspired me and nurtured me as a musician and led me to Leeds College of Music where I am currently studying for a degree.’ 

Schools Singing Programme Alumni

I’ve been here at the cathedral for the last seven and half years, one of the Choral Directors came into my primary school and asked if I would like to join the Children’s Choir and I’ve been here ever since. Singing in the Cathedral Choirs has definitely made me more confident, I’ve built the confidence to sing in front of other people and I think that translates across because now I feel a lot more comfortable to talk in front of other people as well…I’ve made some great friends here and I’d love to become a scholar in the adult choir.’

Girls’ Choir Member, 15 years old. 

Upcoming Events

Our choirs feature in Sunday's @BBCSoP! Tune in this Sunday at 11.30am...meanwhile enjoy this clip of our Cathedral Junior Girls' Choir rehearsing with @revkatebottley @StGtG_CAT @theBWCAT

Please consider helping us to take over thirty young singers on a residential trip to sing with the Gabrieli Consort. The project includes a week-long residential at Oundle School, culminating in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Ely Cathedral. https://dolmusic.uk/support-gabrieli-roar

!!Leeds Youth Music Festival Week 4!!
What an exciting week! Organs and choirs, CLYM groups and secondary school ensembles, LSMA instrumental day and, if that isn’t enough, there is a world premiere of an opera as well.

Good luck to all involved next week!
#leedsyouthmusicfest

We are delighted that composer Roxanna Panufnik is visiting us on Tuesday as part of @LeedsIOF + a concert from our wonderful Cathedral Choir! And it's FREE! @LeedsMusicEd @StGtG_CAT @theBWCAT @notredamecoll

A great concert from our Huddersfield choirs and guest schools from the @BPS_Trust at @ASCHC_COLLEGE - well done to all the young singers and our conductors and pianist @WilJonesMD, Roly Mander and Anthony Beckwith 🎶🎵🎵🎶

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Bradford Catholic Junior Choir sang superbly for Mass at First Martyrs' Church this morning. Bravo to our singers, particularly our Year 6s who led the responsorial psalm for the first time! ... See MoreSee Less
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We welcome students from the Keyboard Studies Programme to give a concert in Leeds Cathedral tomorrow at 3 pm, including works by Bach, Mathias and Seiber. Free admission with a retiring collection. ... See MoreSee Less
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Tune in to BBC Songs of Praise this Sunday at the earlier time of 11.30am and afterwards on iPlayer. Hymns from our Cathedral Choir and lovely interviews with our Cathedral Junior Girls' Choir! We loved recording this - hope you can tune in! ... See MoreSee Less
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We are delighted that composer Roxanna Panufnik is visiting us on Tuesday as part of Leeds International Organ Festival. She'll be 'in conversation' with Philip Moore (composer and former Director of Music at York Minster), talking about her life and inspiration as a composer - it promises to be fascinating!Before the talk there is a rare opportunity to hear Leeds Cathedral Choir (Girls and Scholars) in concert. Tuesday 5th July - Leeds Cathedral - Admission FreeConcert 6.30pm (Cathedral)Talk c7pm (Wheeler Hall) ... See MoreSee Less
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