On 10 April, the afternoon of Palm Sunday, the newly-refurbished St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church in Ripon was the venue for a concert featuring members of two brand new choirs from our Catholic primary schools in Ripon and Harrogate.
Thanks to funding from the Hamish Ogston Foundation (HOF) to assist Diocese of Leeds Music’s expansion into all our Catholic schools, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School is now part of the award-winning Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme (SSP). Since February of this year, Choral Director William Bruce has already recruited 36 enthusiastic young singers (12 boys and 24 girls) who, along with their classmates, receive his professional music tuition in whole-class singing sessions in school each week.
St Wilfrid’s Parish was also delighted to welcome young singers from the 27-strong choir (10 boys and 17 girls) of St Robert’s Catholic Primary in Harrogate. Accompanied by a small ensemble of keyboard, bass and drums, the choirs jointly sang seasonal music, with repertoire including: the traditional spiritual Ride on, King Jesus; a complete performance of Resurrection Rock with soloists and readings; and a contemporary setting of the John 3:16 text For God so Loved the World – as well as other SSP ‘favourites’ such as Beautiful World.
North Yorkshire Schools Singing Programme Choral Director Will Bruce said, ‘Thank you to all who supported the concert; we already have plans for the St Wilfrid’s Choir to sing for some Sunday Masses. I really want to see the choirs and the SSP in North Yorkshire flourish and will do I everything I can to make it succeed. We raised almost £400 to support the choirs in their future development – and even more generous has been the wonderful feedback from parents, teachers and from our Parish Priest, Canon Ian Smith, who kindly let us use St Wilfrid’s Church for the concert; it was a fitting opening event to launch his parish’s celebrations for our Patron St Wilfrid’s 1350th anniversary of consecrating his basilica on the site of what is now Ripon Cathedral.’