The Outreach Programme is in its sixth year. This year 14 state primary schools in the Westminster and Southwark dioceses are participating.
Teaching/learning. Song leaders visit their school 8 times a term to teach classes choral singing. They work on a variety of music from liturgical pieces in Latin and English, to gospel to jazz to popular songs. The children learn to sing to sing in harmony, in rounds, a capella and in a variety of languages. There is a workshop every term when the schools come to Westminster Cathedral Hall to practise the repertoire for the term and prepare for the termly concert and end of year production. The director of music for the programme, Ben Clark, leads these sessions.
At the termly concert each school performs its chosen piece to their peers. All schools sing together the pieces set for the term and also learn a new song. The end of year performance takes place in the relevant cathedral, Westminster or St. George's. This year we will put on The Giant Slayer by Margaret Carpenter and Hear My Words by Parry. Last year we performed Noye's Fludde by Benjamin Britten, involving 450 children working with professional singers and musicians.
Children not only improve their singing and learn a lot about music but learn other skills, too. They learn to cooperate with and trust each other, it improves their confidence and concentration skills. Their numeracy and literacy skills improve, too. They experience a sense of achievement and enjoy what they achieve. They have fun! They also are part of an excellent, high quality experience.
If you want further information or would like your school to participate next year, please email Eileen McDade or ring 020 7798 9394 on Thursdays or Fridays.