Primary school children across Sunderland take part in Durham Cathedral’s Music Outreach Celebration

School children perform at Durham cathedral

Today (21 November 2018) Durham Cathedral welcomed over 250 children from primary schools across the Sunderland region as part of the Cathedral’s triannual Music Outreach Celebration.

With the children filling the crossing, and the Cathedral Choristers positioned on the steps of the Scott Screen, the scene was set for a vibrant afternoon of musical celebration in front of beaming friends and family.  

Pupils from Albany Village Primary, Eppleton Academy Primary, Farringdon Academy, Fatfield Academy, Gillas Lane Primary Academy, Grangetown Primary, Hill View Junior Academy and St Patrick’s RC Primary were in fine song, having received ongoing support and tuition from both the Choristers and Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral over the last school term. 

Every year Durham Cathedral works with over 800 school children as part of their Music Outreach Programme. This term, the pupils from eight Sunderland primary schools have enjoyed visits from the boy and girl Choristers, who have been helping them to prepare for a spectacular end of term performance, which will see them singing alongside the Choir. 

Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral, said: “It is a huge privilege to work with the participants of the outreach programme to perform an exciting selection of songs in the Cathedral. The Choristers sing here every day, taking a leading role alongside the Gentleman and Choral Scholars who make up the Cathedral Choir, and they are always thrilled to be able to share their skills with so many singers from across the local area who join us for the celebration of music. This time, we have prepared an exciting selection of songs, including a set called A Sporting Chance, by Bob Chilcott.”

As well as Chilcott’s set, pupils will perform a programme of music, including ‘Spirit of the North’, ‘Run for Gold’, ‘Game, Set Match’ and ‘We Three Kings’, in front of a packed audience of family and friends inside the Norman Cathedral. 

This term’s Music Outreach Celebration is developed with Sunderland Music Hub; one of 122 national music education hubs. The Hub is managed locally by Together for Children and funded by the Department for Education and Arts Council England.

Rebecca Pedlow, Sunderland Music Hub manager at Together for Children, said: “The Durham Cathedral Music Outreach project not only provides the children with an amazing performance opportunity that they will never forget, but it also feeds into Sunderland’s annual music education hub programme. The programme helps to develop children’s musical, vocal and social skills. 

“This project also builds confidence from meeting children from other schools across the region and participating in the workshops with the Choristers. We are very much looking forward to hearing over 200 children performing together, and we already have schools signing up for next year.”

Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for children's services, Councillor Louise Farthing, added: “We are grateful for our continued partnership with Durham Cathedral and its Choristers which has provided several hundreds of primary schoolchildren with this fantastic experience over the years.  The concert is the result of months of hard work by the children, their teachers and Music Hub and I’m sure they will have fond memories of it for many years to come.”

To find out more about Durham Cathedral’s Music Outreach programme, please visit or contact and for more information about Sunderland Music Hub, Together for Children, please visit


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