Music at St Johns

CD review

Choirs of the Diocese of Leeds

Stuart Robinson, our Director of Music, reviews CD recordings of sacred music for magazines including Church Music Quarterly published by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). He’s been captivated by a recording from the Diocese of Leeds (see below). More reviews of church music recordings may be read online at the RSCM’s website here



Choirs of the Diocese of Leeds

Herald HAVPCD 397


Just so there is no confusion with its Anglican counterpart, this delightful CD has come from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds which claims to have the largest church music programme in the UK involving 2,500 children. There are 43 school choirs plus at least 13 more specialist choirs for boys, girls and mixed voices, along with a semi-professional adult choir. Along with a couple of adult choirs this CD comprises the crème de la crème; eight different auditioned choirs singing a total of 26 Catholic hymns, including “Sweet Sacrament Divine,” “Daily daily”, and Bernadette Farrell’s “O God you know me and you search me.” There’s real “heart” to the singing from the youngest – Bradford Catholic Junior Choir’s sweet performance of “Lord for tomorrow and its needs” to a stirring performance of “Praise to the Holiest” to RR Terry’s tune “Billing” sung by the full choir at Leeds Cathedral. How good too to hear traditional melodies being sung so well by young voices; it gives the lie to the notion that Rihanna (she’s a pop singer) is the only way to inspire the younger generation to sing.


This CD is testament to what can be achieved when proper investment in made in music and given support from the top – there’s a forward from the Bishop of Leeds; many who mourn the demise and disintegration of music infrastructures over the past thirty years or so, will gain inspiration from – and possibly envy at – what there is here. Congratulations to all involved.