YOUNG singers hope to hit the high notes after receiving some expert tuition from their peers at a specialist school.

Pupils at Durham Chorister School have visited eight North-East primary schools to offer advice to entrants in a choral singing competition as part of an out-reach programme.

The boys regularly perform in services as members of the Durham Cathedral Choir.

They have toured abroad, recorded albums and performed widely with the cathedral choir.

Organisers of a schools music competition believed they were the ideal role models to help young singers at the schools taking part in the event.

Thirty singers from each of the eight participating schools were invited to the cathedral yesterday to put the finishing touches to a varied programme of songs they will be recording for the competition.

They were assisted by James Lancelot, the cathedral organist and choirmaster, plus schools music co-ordinator Stephen Auster, who is organising the competition.

The contest will culminate in a final at the Sunderland Empire Theatre, on Sunday, February 1.

Mr Auster said the competition was reaching the end of the preliminary stage as each school records its song in the hope of being selected for the final.

"Everyone involved has been looking forward to today. It is the climax of the cathedral choir outreach programme," he said.

Yesterday's workshops ended with a performance of the songs for an audience of invited guests, children from nearby schools in Durham and supporters from the eight participating schools.