Sunderland schools sing their hearts out at cathedral concert

Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration
Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration

Wearside schoolchildren filled Durham Cathedral with song as their practice paid off in a grand performance.

Around 270 pupils from primary schools across the city joined its girl and boy choristers as the finale of a term’s worth of work between the cathedral’s Music Outreach programme and Sunderland Music Hub.

Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration

Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration

The hub is run by Together for Children and works with schools, teachers, young people and organisations across the city to open up access to a high quality music education.

The Cathedral Choristers and James Randle, the cathedral’s director of music outreach, have been visiting and working with schools to train them and their teachers in 45 minutes of song over the last six weeks, with the lessons culminating in the performance in the Nave of the cathedral.

Mr Randle said: “This has been a fantastic term with pupils from Sunderland, who have work extremely hard to prepare for this musical celebration in Durham Cathedral.

“In a very short space of time the children and their teachers have prepared eight songs to sing together and have enjoyed a morning of working with the Cathedral Choristers.”

The chance to sing at such a prestigious location as Durham Cathedral doesn’t come along very often

Rebecca Pedlow

Rebecca Pedlow, Sunderland Music Hub manager, added: “The children and teachers have all worked really hard in preparation for this performance, developing their vocal skills and music leadership with the expert support of the Cathedral Choir.

“The chance to sing at such a prestigious location as Durham Cathedral doesn’t come along very often.”

The programme for the afternoon was framed around several themes, including St Cecilia’s Day, the Patron Saint of Music and Musicians, and included Viking Rock, a song about Viking raids, playfully acknowledges the tumultuous history of Durham’s monastic community.

The celebration also featured traditional carols.

Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration

Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration

Councillor Louise Farthing, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “This event is always a great occasion. “We value our close working relationship with Durham Cathedral and its Choristers, and the outreach programme between the Cathedral and Sunderland Music Hub has provided hundreds of primary schoolchildren with this great opportunity over the years.”

Schools participating were George Washington Primary School, Hetton Lyons Primary School, John F Kennedy Primary School, Lambton Primary School, Fullwell Junior School, Blackfell Primary School, St Paul’s Church of England Primary School, Academy 360 Primary School and Dame Dorothy Primary School.

Sunderland Music Hub is the lead organisation for the Sunderland Music Education Hub, which is funded by the Department for Education and managed nationally through Arts Council England (ACE).

Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration

Sunderland School choirs singing in Durham Cathedral as part of a Music Outreach celebration