Thanks to funding from a charitable foundation, Diocese of Leeds Music is now recruiting for a number of new full-time positions to further our programme of evangelisation through Music and Liturgy.
The funding, from the Hamish Ogston Foundation, is restricted to the specific purpose of financing Choral Director, Instrumental Tutor and Assistant Director roles to double the number of schools in our own Diocesan Schools Singing Programme, as well as enabling Catholic schools in other dioceses to share in the seed funding to create or enhance their own programmes of evangelisation through music.
The educational, social, and health benefits of children’s choral singing are well researched by educationalists, and in areas of the greatest economic deprivation, parents and teachers alike have been delighted at children’s increased confidence, engagement and academic attainment, including literacy, numeracy, team-work – plus an excellent record of Oxbridge success. One head teacher of a Catholic primary school in Leeds said of the in-person classes:
Our morning sessions fill the school with beautiful singing that uplifts all who hear it. The difference made to the quality of the children’s singing, self-esteem and confidence is immeasurable. The programme has had a brilliant impact on the quality of work from the pupils, in all subjects – not only in music and church life.
Another message of thanks from a Catholic parent enjoying the post-lockdown singing sessions via the Royal Philharmonic Society Award-winning innovation of the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme’s YouTube Channel said:
I can’t thank you enough for the engagement and creativity and wonderful singing of your virtual singing lessons. I have passed on your links to all I know in education. I so SO wish my children could access daily singing lessons in school. It has been so good for confidence and diction and fun for the two nine year olds I’m helping to home educate.
Children who choose to join the after-school choirs across the Diocese enhance the worship in their parishes and at Leeds Cathedral. As the basis of sacred music is to convey understanding of the words and meaning through the phrasing and dynamics, the young people have gained a deeper comprehension of, and engagement with, their faith. Singing in broadcasts, concerts and in their own parish also encourages and welcomes their school-friends, parents and families into (or back into) church and into the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
Bishop Marcus, an educationalist himself who is also Chair of the Catholic Education Service nationally has said:
Our diocesan school music programme is one of the most effective forms of evangelisation I have seen and experienced. Through the beauty of the Catholic Church’s treasury of sacred music our young people are being formed in the Christian faith; they discover a new confidence in themselves and, by learning to work closely with others, they progress in those virtues which lead to collective flourishing and foster individual aspiration.
The new vacancies for music specialists to become part of this successful and expanding music and education programme have been advertised first within the Diocese via our Parish Bulletins. For more information and an Application Pack, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date: 22 February 2021