In December, children from primary schools across Birmingham descended on St Chad’s Cathedral for the second Christmas running.
Having worked on a range of vocal repertoire throughout the Christmas term, they arrived at the Cathedral, armed with pack lunches, eager for a day of singing followed by their very own Christmas service for friends and family. There were sunglasses, sleigh bells and plenty of smiles and biscuits as they set about preparing for the second year of services, which marked the one year anniversary of St Chad’s Choral Outreach Programme.
The programme was set up in 2012 by Birmingham Conservatoire graduates and long standing choristers of the Cathedral, David Wynne and Alexandra Bickerton. ‘We are both passionate about widening participation in choral singing in the community and St Chad’s Choral Outreach was an idea very close to our hearts. We were both brought up as choristers and experienced the self discipline, confidence and wonderful fun it brings. The outreach programme aims to ensure that young singers in Birmingham have access to Cathedral music and enable some to progress to Junior Scholarships and Chorister roles at St Chad’s Cathedral in the future.’
If you are looking to increase opportunities for singing in your school, prepare children for confirmation or increase awareness of St Chad’s Cathedral and its’ role in the community, then St Chad’s Choral Outreach Programme is for you. A typical project spans one term and consists of ten, one hour sessions with an animateur, musical resources and a day workshop at St Chad’s Cathedral followed by a service for families and friends in which the children perform.
Over the course of the year SCCO has worked with hundreds of Birmingham primary school children and looks forward to working with many more throughout 2014 as it grows and develops. Future plans also include a free week for young singers, based at the Cathedral in August. Throughout the week there will be opportunities to learn new repertoire and take part in a service and concert, as well as plenty of time spent making new friends and taking part in social activities. This free week is a great opportunity for children to meet and sing together before the launch of St Chad’s Junior Choir in September 2014.
For more information or to have a chat about how St Chad’s Choral Outreach Programme could help your school, please firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07791076922.
‘All of the children really benefited from this wonderful vocal opportunity. It has definitely inspired us to want to do more of this as a school’ Lisa Fahy, Headteacher, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, Birchfield.
‘Overwhelming, heart-warming and totally professional’ Cathie Buck, Deputy Headteacher, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Nechells.