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

Tune into ⁦@BBCRadio3⁩ tomorrow evening to hear our accordion tutor ⁦@valerie_barr⁩ playing in the ⁦@BBCPhilharmonic with ⁦@LudovicMorlot⁩, accompanying ⁦@SampsonCarolyn⁩ in a wonderful piece by Dutilleux. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0013jr4

Our Director of the Schools Singing Programme @thomas_leech - together with @StPaulsLondon OBE Organ Outreach Fellow @tom_daggett - spoke at the @_cathedralmusic conference today about access, partnerships and excellence growing from sustained foundations in church music.

Today at Leeds Cathedral
The Baptism of the Lord
𝟵.𝟭𝟱𝗮𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗖𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿)
𝟭𝟭𝗮𝗺 𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 / 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)
Dilexisti, Gregorian
Missa Sancti Nicolai, Haydn
Asperges, Gregorian
Quem pastores laudavere, Praetorius
Ave verum corpus, Mozart

Huddersfield Youth Choirs with Bradford Catholic Youth Choir perform the sacred Christmas Carol Guadete, from Piae Cantiones. Arr. Keith Roberts.
A live recording from Huddersfield Town Hall, December 2021 as part of Kirklees Organ Concert Season.

https://youtu.be/WYf4DOXwCww

Thanks for featuring! We've loved hearing the other choirs in your digital Advent Calendar as well...🎶🎵🎵🎶

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The Diocese of Westminster has joined the National Schools Singing Programme, an initiative designed to enhance music programmes for children educated in Catholic state schools.In his message, Cardinal Vincent said,‘I thank the Hamish Ogston Foundation for giving young people in the Diocese of Westminster the opportunity to participate in the National Schools Singing Programme. 'Making music allows us to give joyful praise to God, reminding us that all beauty comes from God and takes us to God. Singing builds team work and makes us attentive to each other. I am sure it will help our young people to know the beauty and joy that music gives to our everyday lives.’Find out more about the NSSP at www.nssp.org.uk/ ... See MoreSee Less
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We are delighted to welcome David Grealy to the department as Assistant Cathedral Organist.After taking a first-class honours degree in music from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, he has held prestigious appointments at Westminster Cathedral, St Bartholomew's (Anglican) Church, Dublin, and St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin. In 2017, he completed a master's in organ performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Cologne, and worked as a church musician in the Catholic Parish of St Peter & Paul, Ratingen.Before joining the Diocese of Leeds Music Department, David was based in Dublin, where he was in regular demand as a performer and accompanist.We look forward to a long and happy association with David! ... See MoreSee Less
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This Sunday at Leeds Cathedral (9th January):The Baptism of the Lord𝟵.𝟭𝟱𝗮𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗖𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿)𝟭𝟭𝗮𝗺 𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 (𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝘀)Dilexisti, GregorianMissa Sancti Nicolai, HaydnAsperges, GregorianQuem pastores laudavere, PraetoriusAve verum corpus, Mozart ... See MoreSee Less
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Cathedral Organist David Pipe plays Messiaen’s wonderful La Nativité du Seigneur this Saturday at 7.15 pm in Leeds Cathedral. Free admission with a retiring collection to support Leeds International Organ Festival 2022! ... See MoreSee Less
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