Bringing Sacred Music into our Schools

Friday 15th October 2021

We are delighted to announce our successful bid to join the National Schools Singing Programme, with a seed funding of £75,000 awarded by the Hamish Ogston Foundation to fund a new Choral Director. The programme will be led by Salford Cathedral’s Director of Music Alex Patterson, who has over ten years’ experience leading dynamic singing sessions in schools. The Schools Singing Programme marks an expansion in Salford Cathedral’s grassroots Music Programme, bringing its attitude towards evangelisation through singing into the wider diocese.

The National Schools Singing Programme is active in Catholic dioceses around the country and has already met with great success. Working from a model of accessible whole-class singing, the programme has brought diversity to choral groups in Catholic schools across the UK.

The programme has demonstrated the potential for inclusive musical education to improve children’s mental health, teamwork, academic achievements and to create a more powerful long-term interaction with the Catholic faith. This has been especially clear in disadvantaged areas, where parents and teachers have noticed a profound increase in the confidence and well-being of their children since the Singing Programme began.

Our new Choral Director and the Cathedral Music Team will travel around the Diocese of Salford, working with children and teachers to institute long-term musical programmes comprising both of singing sessions during school hours and after-school choirs. We are currently recruiting for the Choral Director role – find out more here.

Bishop John expressed the importance of this announcement:

It is very encouraging to see the expansion of our Cathedral’s Music Foundation across the Diocese. This will give more children and young people the opportunity to experience a high-quality singing education that is such an important expression of our Catholic faith, in prayer and practice. We are grateful to the Hamish Ogston Foundation for providing the initial funding for this initiative through the National Schools Singing Programme and will look forward to seeing the fruits of the programme in years to come.  

Alex, who is leading the programme, had this to say:

I am delighted that we’re able to expand our grassroots singing programme throughout the Diocese as part of the National Schools Singing Programme. I am really looking forward to working with schools and parishes to ensure that children across the Diocese can be supported in their creative ambitions and benefit from the many riches a high-quality singing programme can bring!

The programme will begin in early 2022 with a select number of schools before increasing throughout the diocese as capacity allows. Stay tuned for more details on how we are increasing our musical offering across the diocese!

How can your school get involved? For more information, please see this document: Salford SSP – Introduction

Or contact Alex Patterson, Salford Cathedral’s Director of Music: alex.patterson@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

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