stThree hundred children from the Diocese of Nottingham, have raised their voices in songs of praise this week, as part of the National Schools Singing Programme.
On the Feast of St Nicholas (Monday) and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, (Wednesday) hundreds of children, selected from seven different schools, performed challenging chant along with traditional carols at St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham.
The school children of Nottingham Diocese have been rehearsing hard since September as part of the national programme which is aimed at enhancing musical education in Catholic schools.
Addressing the congregation on Monday evening, Director of Music for Nottingham Diocese, Gregory Treloar said: “Back in September I started going into seven schools around Nottingham and have been engaging over 400 children in singing and making music, through whole class sessions. In this programme, we hope to give children in the diocese access to quality music tuition regardless of area and background.
“We are seeking to inspire young people of the diocese to engage with their faith through music and the focus of the programme has been to use sacred music as a basis for teaching singing and music. The response has been fantastic, and I have been so impressed by the progress and enthusiasm that all of the classes have shown; I am delighted that they are able to showcase their hard work and talent for the glory of God here tonight.”
The children performed a variety of numbers including Myn lyking along with traditional carols such as O Come All Ye Faithful and Away in a Manger. The older children took on some difficult chant by singing one of the beautiful O Antiphons - O Oriens.
Reflecting on the events, Gregory Treloar said: “It has been such an enormous privilege to lead these two carol services as part of the Schools Singing Programme. The enthusiasm and commitment of the children has been so special and the joy with which they approach music making is really wonderful to see.
“I am enormously grateful to the members of staff and headteachers who have made these events possible and for the support of Bishop Patrick, Peter Giorgio, and Fr Simon Gillespie.
“This has all be made possible through funding from the Hamish Ogston Foundation and the National Schools Singing Programme who are doing an excellent job of reaching out to dioceses across the country to help more children interact with their faith through music.
“I hope that having achieved this much in a such a short amount of time, we will be able to continue growing this programme and reaching more schools and children across the diocese.”
Speaking at the carol concert on Monday evening, Peter Giorgio, Head of Education for the Diocese of Nottingham said: “One of the aspects that our primary schools have missed most over the past year or so has been being able to sing together.
“Singing offers such tremendous benefits. It helps our children to develop confidence and sometimes to unlock hidden talents. I really do hope that your child has enjoyed their experience of giving glory to God through music here in our beautiful cathedral this evening.”
Tracy Lane, Headteacher at St Patricks said
'The children thoroughly enjoyed this amazing opportunity to sing in the beautiful setting of the cathedral of which they were in awe. The whole evening from arriving to performance was magical and a pleasure to watch the joy and happiness with which the children engaged with [the musical director] and showed such passion for singing- it brought the awe and wonder we search for in our lives to life. Thank you so much to Greg for inspiring our children and giving them this opportunity to shine!