Workshops begin this weekend with Leeds young singers, in partnership with the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme.
On Sunday 1 October, a weekend of intensive performance workshops will culminate with a performance given by the young singers of Leeds Cathedral Choir with singers from The Sixteen and Genesis Sixteen led by Harry Christophers.
The workshops and performance form part of a new partnership with the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing programme, offering young singers in Leeds the opportunity to develop their skills and discover pathways into the choral and classical industries. This forms part of The Sixteen’s commitment to broadening access to classical music to reflect our present-day society.
This year, the project will also see a partnership with London Youth Choirs. Predominantly for young singers from under-represented groups within the industry, there are plans to expand this programme across the UK in the coming years.
Singers this weekend are a talented group of high-school aged students, who discovered their vocal potential whilst at state primary schools participating in the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme. Singers from both the Senior Girls Choir and Schools Scholars have progressed through the programme, and now sing for national radio broadcasts and regular services at Leeds Cathedral.
Harry Christophers, founder and conductor of The Sixteen, says:
‘I have long admired the work of the Leeds Diocese and I cannot wait to hear what evolves. Singing is for everyone and the enthusiasm that has been generated around all these young singers by Thomas Leech and his team is just brilliant. I am so looking forward to this weekend of music making. I know it will be inspirational for all of us but above all it will be a lot of fun.’
Christophers will lead workshops this weekend, introducing young singers to the demands and ethos of a professional choir, and inspiring them to new heights of music-making.
Thomas Leech, Director of the Diocese Schools Singing Programme and Leeds Cathedral Girls Choir, says:
‘We’re thrilled that one of the finest choirs and conductors in the world are coming to work with our choristers. I’m privileged to work day-to-day with a diverse and talented group of young singers – I hope this project will prove to them that the world of elite choral performance is an environment they can belong to and thrive in, and we’ll all be hugely inspired by working with Harry and the team.’
The concert will feature some of the great choral works of the Renaissance – including music by English composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, and new music by Sir James MacMillan and the Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir.
Leeds Cathedral Choir / The Sixteen perform at Leeds Cathedral, Sunday October 1st at 3pm. Admission is free and the performance lasts 45 minutes.