Today we are in Yorkshire with Leeds Cathedral’s Girls Choir, who have recorded the gorgeous psalm antiphon O Frondens Virga by Hildegard von Bingen for us. The choir’s repertoire is centred on Medieval Chant and Renaissance Polyphony, with the choristers fluent in reading both modern and Gregorian notation!
We are delighted to have been able to give Leeds Cathedral a revenue grant this year to support the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, which works with over 6,000 children weekly in whole class singing sessions at Catholic state schools across the Diocese, together with a network of after-school choirs.
The Diocese also offers a Keyboard Studies Programme, which provides whole class and individual tuition on melodica, accordion, piano and organ. At the Cathedral, a mixed children's choir feeds into the separate Junior Boys' and Girls' Choirs, then the two Senior Choirs. Emerging tenor and bass voices move into the Schools Scholars group. The choirs sing for eight services a week (Vespers and Mass) and broadcast regularly on BBC radio and television. The Schools Singing Programme was awarded a Royal Philharmonic Inspiration Award for its digital provision to schools and choirs during lockdown.
The Diocese Schools Singing Programme is now playing a central role in the development of the National Schools Singing Programme, rolling out across Catholic dioceses in the UK and supported by the Hamish Ogston Foundation.
You can find out more about the programme at www.dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk and on their YouTube channel.
Your gift this Christmas will enable us to support choirs all year round and continue sharing this extraordinary musical heritage with people of all ages and backgrounds.
What's more, thanks to a generous matched-funding pledge of £25,000 towards our Christmas Campaign, every donation made between now and 31 December will be doubled!