The Nottingham Cathedral Music Charitable Trust was set up in January 2018 to promote and advance music and music education at or in connection with the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas, Nottingham.
The charity is currently managed by the Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees (Charity No. 1134449) working in close collaboration with the Cathedral's Director of Music.
The Trust has had its first major success in receiving support from Arts Council England to fund its collaboration with Streetwise Opera and Music for Everyone to performance Tobias and the Angel, a community opera by Jonathan Dove and David Lan, in June 2018.
The Music Department are now working in partnership with the Nottingham Music Hub to deliver the Singing Strategy for city schools.
Summer Sing 2018 in partnership with the Nottingham Music Hub
Friday Afternoons Schools Singing Project
We were delighted to receive further funding from Snape Maltings (formerly Aldeburgh Music) to run a second singing project with local schools. This follows on from our previous Friday Afternoons project in 2017 which saw local school children sing the music of Jonathan Dove as part of the international singing project which started in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten.
This year, Ellie Martin, our Youth Choir Director, engaged with local school children to teach songs by Luke Styles and Nico Muhly and develop creative responses to these songs in preparation for a final sharing event at the Cathedral. The project began with an interactive Continuing Professional Development session for school teachers who were then able to observe Ellie ‘in action’ as she worked with our Cathedral Youth Choir - highlighting excellent approaches to choral leading and how to introduce contemporary music to young singers (with remarkable ease). Each school then received a singing workshop in which to learn a song of their choice and put together their own creative response.
Due to heavy snow-fall and the resulting school closures, our sharing event on Friday 2 March was postponed and rescheduled to Friday 23 March when pupils from St Margaret Clitherow, Seely Primary, and Park Vale Academy came together to share their performances to an appreciative audience of family and friends. The informal concert finished with a performance (from memory) of ‘Old Abram Brown’, one of Britten’s original Friday Afternoons songs, which Ellie taught to the children just moments before the concert. We are grateful to the staff and students of these schools for engaging so deeply with the project and hope to continue working with local schools to provide opportunities for youth music making at the Cathedral.
Diocesan Youth Singing Day - Come and Sing... Gospel
Our first Diocesan Youth Singing Day was designed as an exciting opportunity for children and young people aged 8 - 18 from across our Diocese to come together and sing for a day at the Cathedral. The event took place on Saturday 10 February 2018 and was led by Ellie Martin - her fun and enthusiastic approach to singing made the day most enjoyable for those who were able to attend.
The children spent most of the day learning gospel and spiritual songs such as ‘This Little Light Of Mine’, ‘Elijah Rock!’ and ‘Didn’t It Rain’ which Ellie taught aurally. They then gave an informal performance of these songs (from memory and some including actions) to family and friends before a mega Gospel medley which included fantastic audience participation.
Feedback from the children and parents was overwhelmingly positive with some parents highlighting the importance of such events considering the lack of regular choral singing in the more remote areas of the Diocese.
Plans are already afoot to make this an annual event and more information about our 2019 event will be available later this year.