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Chelmsford Cathedral Chorister Outreach Project 2008 - 2010

The Choir Schools' Association and Sing Up are supporting Chelmsford Cathedral and Essex Music Services in their Chorister Outreach Programme as part of the Music Manifesto National Singing Programme.

The programme is divided into three levels.

Level one: OUTREACH. Involves taking small groups of choristers, particularly boys, together with a member of our music staff, to visit and sing with five different primary schools each term (fifteen a year) culminating in a cathedral concert each term that will include the choristers.

Level two: Setting up a JUNIOR CHOIR for boys and girls in years 3-8 to practise weekly during term times. It will also require the arrangement of at least two public concerts in suitable venues during the year for the choir.

Level three: concerns the engagement in partnership with Essex Music services of suitable ANIMATEURS to work in primary schools following up and/ or preparing for outreach visits that have been, or are about to be, made.

Chelmsford Cathedral in close partnership with Essex Music services sees this outreach project achieving the following key aims.

  • To bring the joy of singing to children in schools where this is not currently being offered, and to provide a sustainable legacy in the targeted schools.
  • To empower teachers to make their school a Singing School, through workshops training and school visits.

Each term we plan to work with 5 schools, both staff and children. We will facilitate musical training of the staff to enable them to continue the vocal work with children once the initial programme has ended.
We will also direct the schools in providing further opportunities for singing and developing as a Singing School.

We have recruited a team of four trained and enthusiastic singing leaders, from the Cathedral's music staff and Essex Music Services (EMS).

The team consists of

  • Peter Nardone, Director of Music, Chelmsford Cathedral
  • Oliver Waterer, Assistant Director of Music, Chelmsford Cathedral
  • Janette Ruocco, Vocal and Choral Development Manager, Essex Music Services
  • Simon Warne, Cathedral Lay Clerk and member of the Vocal Development Team at Essex Music Services

The programme for each term would be:

  1. Half day Introductory Workshop for Teachers – from all schools participating that term; this will set out the basics of choir training and singing technique, and the repertoire to be covered.
  2. First school visit by singing leaders – to introduce the music and work on singing techniques
  3. Second school visit by singing leaders – concert preparation
  4. Third school visit by singing leaders, with choristers
  5. Concert in Chelmsford Cathedral - to include repertoire covered in school visits, and performances by the choristers and local secondary schools or youth music groups (drawn from Essex Music Services' ensembles). Also performing at each concert will be the Chelmsford Youth Choir.
  6. Training Workshop for Teachers – a day's workshop for teachers from schools who have participated this term, those who will participate next term and an opportunity for those who have not yet been part of the programme but would like some singing training and information on how the programme works ; to include
    • an evaluation session,
    • a practical singing session,
    • a plenary session for new and existing schools to share experiences, and
    • a discussion on future developments to include repertoire ideas for festivals, concerts and helping towards becoming a Singing School.
  7. Follow-up visit by singing leader (1) – specifically targeted to suit the needs of the individual school eg working with a different group of children, repertoire extension
  8. Follow-up visit by singing leader (2) – further development work

If you are interested in this project or wish to find out more details, please contact the Project Director, Oliver Waterer via his email address




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