Derby Cathedral receives grant to deliver choral music in schools

Written on 01/03/2023

Derby Cathedral receives grant to deliver choral music in schools

Derby Cathedral is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a £75,000 grant over five years to be part of the National Schools Singing Programme, founded and supported by the Hamish Ogston Foundation.

The grant will help pay for a newly-appointed full time Choral Director for Schools, who will work with schools across Derby and Derbyshire, particularly in areas of social deprivation, to provide a high quality musical education to children by introducing them to choral singing in their school setting.

It is anticipated that over 900 children from the across Derby and Derbyshire will be involved with the programme.  Research has widely shown that singing can be beneficial for children’s development, mental wellbeing and academic attainment, so the positive impact will be far-reaching.

There will also be opportunities for after school choirs and groups as the programme develops, including growth of the Cathedral’s Junior Choir for children aged 5-9, and the Cathedral Choirs, which provide a free musical education at the very highest standards.

Dean of Derby, the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson says:

“We are delighted to have been successful with our application to be one of six pilot Anglican Cathedrals as part of the National Schools Singing Programme.  This gives us the means to expand our Music in Schools initiative, which is a key part of our strategy and direction for learning and partnerships.  We are immensely grateful to the Hamish Ogston Foundation for funding this programme.”

Derby Cathedral is known for its outstanding standard of music. The Cathedral is home to the Cathedral Choir, formed of boy and girl Choristers from a large number of different backgrounds and Lay Clerks (adult professional singers). There is also a Cathedral Voluntary Choir.

In addition, the Cathedral currently works with Allenton Community Primary School and Chellaston Junior School as part of its Music in Schools programme.  The Schools Singing Programme will help build on this work and enable us to reach significantly more children.

Alexander Binns, Director of Music at Derby Cathedral, says:

“We are hugely grateful to the National Schools Singing Programme and the Hamish Ogston Foundation for this seed funding grant, which will help turbocharge our current Music in Schools Programme to bring it to a significantly wider number of children across Derby and Derbyshire. Singing has many benefits, and I believe all children should be able to have access to a high quality musical education and experience the joy of choral music. Thanks to this grant, we will be able to expand our existing programme well beyond our current reach.”

The National Schools Singing Programme is based on the model developed in the Catholic Diocese of Leeds where it has seen great success since it began in 2003, now reaching over 6,000 children a week.

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