Sheffield Cathedral’s Schools Singing Programme

19th April 2024

Welcome boost for Sheffield Cathedral.

Sheffield Cathedral’s pioneering Schools Singing programme has been given a welcome boost by the city’s Master Cutler after he named it as his charity challenge for this year – the Company of Cutlers’ 400thanniversary year.

“There is no other programme in school that makes our children feel so included, fulfilled and euphoric!”

Sheffield headteacher on Sheffield Cathedral’s Schools Singing Programme.

Launched in 2015, the Master Cutler Challenge gives local organisations and businesses seed money and asks them to grow it to help raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for their chosen charity.

And this year Master Cutler, Charles Turner DL has chosen Sheffield Cathedral’s Schools Singing Programme which offers school children in deprived communities to take part in fun musical activities and experience the joy of singing.

He said:

“I am delighted to be able to support Sheffield Cathedral’s Schools Singing Programme and to help build a legacy that gives the gift of music to young people in this region for years to come.

“Singing inspires and crosses cultures to bring beauty from the air we breathe. As such, it is like manufacturing in that it brings quality products from raw materials with the skill of the craftsman. 

“Both are vital to this region and in the Company of Cutlers’ 400th anniversary year I am delighted to help the cathedral to raise the aspirations of young people and deliver life-changing opportunities for the next generation.”

Sheffield Cathedral's Schools Singing Programme gets welcome boost

Sheffield Cathedral’s Schools Singing Programme is led by Tom Daggett, the cathedral’s new Director of Music who joined the cathedral last year from St Paul’s Cathedral in London where he successfully delivered similar programmes to thousands of children in some of London’s most deprived inner-city communities.

Tom said:

“We all know of the social, emotional and wellbeing effects of singing. It makes us happy.

“For children singing can be a safe place to turn to when feeling down but it also helps them to make friends, to develop the confidence to stand taller, to sing louder and to have the self-belief to overcome challenges in life.

“Childrens’ faces light up when they sing. Sadly, too many children across this city are missing out on the joy of singing because schools do not have the resources to give their pupils meaningful musical experiences. 

“This is why this programme is so important and will make such a positive difference to childrens’ lives through opening their minds to what they can achieve.”

So far, the programme is only being delivered in a handful of Sheffield schools because of the limited funding available but its transformative effect is already clear to see and it is hoped by being named as the Master Cutler Challenge more companies, organisations and local people will rise to the challenge to help change these young lives.

“Engaging with this fantastic new programme has been a wonderful experience for all our children and staff” explained Matt Sierczkarek, Headteacher of Prince Edward Primary School in Sheffield. 

“Children in our school don’t always get the same cultural opportunities other children may have but now, more than ever, being able to enjoy singing every week is enriching their lives. 

“There is no other programme in school that makes our children feel so included, fulfilled and euphoric!” he added.

Find out more here.