The Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme is recognised as the UK’s leading choral singing provision, reaching 4,500 children weekly, both during and outside the school day in around 100 choral groups. These include the six choirs of Leeds Cathedral and Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs in Bradford, Keighley, Huddersfield, 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 53 state schools, which enthuse 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; using the discipline of choral music to provide an excellent standard of 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

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Our Director of the Schools Singing Programme @thomas_leech writes for @ISM_music on our work during lockdown and the absolute necessity to fight for opportunity and equality in choral music - hugely under threat at the moment.
https://www.ism.org/blog/choral-continuation-singing-through-pandemic

In this packed KS3/4 session, Alex explores common chord sequences, taking in over 15 songs in the process! We'll also use the fantastic gospel song Great is He to learn the musical meaning of "canon". Plus, One Kylection return! Today at 3pm https://youtu.be/-oVCuYCUhrw

Tom's on in a few minutes! A lovely warm-up and some cracking songs, including Simple Gifts, El Cumbanchero and can you chuck a chop of chicken or chop a chiptole chilli up?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=birOaya8vPY

It's bleak and rainy today - why not pop one of our singing sessions on to brighten the mood! We have a new session out at 2pm, and LOADS of sessions available on our YouTube channel http://www.schoolssingingprogramme.org.uk

@MusicMagazine I'm sure this isn't what you're asking for but...cheer yourself up with a singing session from @DOLMusic http://www.schoolssingingprogramme.org.uk - throughout lockdown we've been smashing out excellent online sessions for the 1000s of children we work with, from schools to our cathedral choirs...

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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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