Singing Works and Singing Playgrounds form a major part of Ex Cathedra’s education work as a flagship organisation for Sing Up, the National Singing Programme

More than 250 primary school children from Tower Hamlets will be raising their voices in song in a special concert in the East Wintergarden, 43 Bank Street, Canary Wharf E14 8NX at 4.00pm on Tuesday 13th July. They will be celebrating the successful conclusion of Singing Works a special singing project masterminded by internationally renowned choral experts, Ex Cathedra and sponsored by Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG).

Vocal experts from Ex Cathedra have been working in nine primary schools across Tower Hamlets, to get children not only singing themselves but encouraging others to learn songs and discover how much fun singing can be.

“We have been working in Tower Hamlets for two years now and are really delighted with the progress that has been made,“ said Jeffrey Skidmore, Director of Ex Cathedra. “We have seen children grow in confidence, improve their concentration, learn to respect and trust each other and work as a team – as well as have fun!“

Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor for CWG said: “The children have so much fun in the Singing Playgrounds programme that they almost don’t notice that they are learning a whole range of new social skills. It’s a privilege to have such talented and vibrant group of local youngsters perform in the heart of Canary Wharf.”

Earlier this year, the children showed their newfound teamwork and confidence when they performed for a major international conference in London where they won the praise of distinguished guests including London’s Mayor Boris Johnson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The celebration concert on 13th July promises to be a colourful and joyous occasion with children from many different backgrounds and cultures taking part and will be led by Jeffrey Skidmore, Ex Cathedra’s Founder and Artistic Director, Rebecca Ledgard, Director of Education and Urszula Weber, Principal Vocal Tutor.

Singing Works and Singing Playgrounds form a major part of Ex Cathedra’s education work as a flagship organisation for Sing Up, the National Singing Programme

For further information or to attend:

Jill Robinson, Ex Cathedra
Mobile: 07904 265941

Hamish McDougall, Canary Wharf Group
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7 418 2326 or +44 (0) 7779 888 075

Concert details:

Singing Works celebration concert
Tuesday 13th July 2010, 4pm
East Winter Garden, Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14 8NX

Jeffrey Skidmore – Conductor
Rebecca Ledgard and Urszula Weber – conductors and project leaders

About Ex Cathedra

From its home in Birmingham, Ex Cathedra has established an international reputation as a leading UK choir and Early Music ensemble. Under founder and Artistic Director, Jeffrey Skidmore, Ex Cathedra is known for its vibrant performances and a passion for seeking out not only the best but the unfamiliar and the unexpected in the choral repertoire.

In addition to its performing and research work, Ex Cathedra has developed a range of ground-breaking education activities based on the premise that singing is for all. It seeks both to inspire a love of singing in people of all ages and backgrounds through a programme of exciting, innovative and inclusive education projects in schools, hospitals and the wider community and to provide opportunities for talented young singers to realise their full potential. Projects are developed from and led by the Ex Cathedra’s concert programme and the key to their success is the commitment to the core activity and area of expertise – vocal skills.

Ex Cathedra’s first access Singing Playgrounds and Singing Works projects aim to revitalise singing in schools through an inclusive approach that involves the whole school community. Children are encouraged to play, share and create singing games, and Song Leaders chosen from Key Stage 2 are trained to lead the games for their peers. It is a unique initiative that has attracted regional, national, and international attention due to its innovative contribution not only to revitalising singing in schools but to the personal, social, intellectual and emotional development of the children involved.

About Jeffrey Skidmore – Founder and Artistic Director, Ex Cathedra
Jeffrey Skidmore is one of the country’s foremost choral conductors and is highly regarded by instrumentalists, singers and audiences for the high quality of his performances. He is well-known for exciting programming which is often challenging but always accessible. Jeffrey read music at Magdalen College, Oxford, before returning to his native Birmingham to develop Ex Cathedra into the internationally-acclaimed choral group it has become today. He is a dedicated advocate of the important contribution that singing can make to creating sustainable cohesive communities.
About Rebecca Ledgard – Director of Education, Ex Cathedra:
As Director of Education Rebecca leads a team of 20 vocal tutors in Ex Cathedra’s ground breaking, innovative and much demanded education programme. In this role Rebecca has led workshops and performances across the country, as well conducting and rehearsing Ex Cathedra’s two youth choirs, the Academy and Junior Academy of Vocal Music. Rebecca also works as an Advisory Teacher for the Voices Foundation training teachers to teach the music curriculum through a singing approach.