St James’ Church is a lively and diverse Church and this is reflected in the diversity of music on offer which, we hope, provides something to suit all tastes and age-groups. Our friendly and thriving choir plays a leading role in the life and worship of our church community and consists of some 30+ mixed voices, including a good number of young people. They have a busy schedule of weekly rehearsals and services, providing music for our worship throughout the year. Although the Choir draws much of its repertoire from traditional choral music, this is sung alongside music from the Iona and Taizé communities together with contemporary anthems, worship songs and other material from both the modern Catholic and Evangelical traditions. The main Sunday choral services attended by the full choir are the weekly Parish Eucharist at 11-00 AM and Evensong on the first Sunday of each month at 6-00 pm with additional services for important church festivals plus weddings and occasional concerts. The music at 9-30 am Matins on the 2nd and 4th Sundays is usually led by the organist alone but occasionally with a quartet of choristers when available
Our Director of Music is responsible for training and directing the Choir, accompanied either on our fine Compton organ or Clavinova, depending on the style of music being sung. The Choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) and their main rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings in church or in the church centre. The Junior Choir meet first at 7-00 pm and their rehearsal incorporates “Voice for Life” – the RSCM Junior Choir Training Scheme – in which they all participate. They are joined at 8-00 pm by the Senior Choir for a short combined practice before dismissal at 8-15 pm. Younger Juniors are permitted to leave at 7.45. The Seniors then rehearse on their own and their practices have been known to finish as late as 10 pm depending on (a) their workload and (b) closing time at the Queens Oak!
The Choir is often invited to take its music beyond the Parish boundaries. As well as singing at numerous Christmas functions in the area St James’ Church Choir also has a long tradition of singing in larger churches and cathedrals during periods when the resident choirs are on holiday or on tour. Amongst the venues at which they have been privileged to sing are Salisbury and Arundel Cathedrals, Bath Abbey and St George’s Chapel, Windsor. More recently they have sung the services at Douai Abbey, Dorchester Abbey and St Albans Cathedral.
The main purpose of music making at St James’ Church is to lead the musical side of the worship in a real and corporate way. It is an acknowledged fact that many people have come to a true and living faith (some even to ordained ministry) as a result of their membership of a church choir.
We are always on the lookout for new members, both children and adults. If you enjoy singing and would be interested in joining the choir please contact the Director of Music Janice Devine [email protected]
For further information about the Junior Choir please see here.
Listen to a selection of recordings from our choir below.
O Come Divine Messiah, recorded in Wellington College Chapel, December 2015.
Good Christians All Rejoice, sung by our junior choristers, recorded in Wellington College Chapel, December 2015.
Candlelight Carol, recorded in Wellington College Chapel, December 2015.
And The Glory Of The Lord, recorded in Wellington College Chapel, December 2015.
There Is A Flower, recorded in Wellington College Chapel, December 2014.
Oh When The Saints, recorded in St James, November 2015.
Soul Of My Saviour, recorded in St James, November 2015.