Sunderland City Sings

2017 winners, pupils from Castletown Primary performing their winning song in school

The stage is set for Sunderland’s Schools annual singing extravaganza, the City Sings competition, which takes place at Sunderland Empire on 3 March.


Now in its 15th year, City Sings sees hundreds of Wearside’s most promising singers aged from 7 to 16 compete for the accolade of the Dr Gilbert Trophy for Best vocal sound 2019.


Last year 485 pupils from 11 schools competed and this year 15 schools with over 600 performers are set to take part.


Sunderland Music Hub, which is funded by the Department for Education and Arts Council and managed by Together for Children, delivers a programme of concerts and events in schools throughout the academic year.


City Sings provides a platform for children and young people who have shown real vocal talent. This year’s categories are Best Primary, Best Secondary, Most Promising and Most Entertaining Choir, with one overall winner selected for Best Vocal Choral Sound.


In addition to the accolade, the most promising choir will receive five sessions over the next year from an expert vocal specialist to support them in developing their vocal and choral skills.


Previous winners East Herrington Primary will be travelling to London as finalists for the National Choral Competition at the Royal Festival Hall the next day. And the 2017 winners, Castletown Primary will be entertaining us at the end of the event whilst the judges deliberate.


This year’s judges include representatives from Durham Cathedral Outreach Programme, and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. 


Rebecca Pedlow, Sunderland Music Hub manager at Together for Children, said: “For many schools and their young people, City Sings is the culmination of many hours of practice and rehearsal and having attended many performances in schools I know judges and audiences will be impressed.


“We are grateful for the input of judges and the support of Sunderland Empire and Arts Council and the DfE Music Education Hub fund.”


The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, said: “I am delighted to once again see this event return to Sunderland Empire.


“It’s an event that encourages excellence alongside the joy of participation. We are thankful to our esteemed judges and to the Sunderland Empire.”


Parents may purchase tickets through their children’s school. To find out more about this and other Sunderland Music Hub activities please visit


In partnership with