MUSIC AT ST MARY'S
Music is an integral part of the worship of St Mary’s with an enthusiastic and accomplished choir leading the singing for the Sung Eucharist and a developing instrumental group playing their part in All Age worship.
There is a long standing tradition of choral music in St Mary’s and the current Choir Master and Organist is Jenny Hoare.
The organ is a splendid instrument and forms a striking focus at the West End and the mixed choir occupy choir stalls just in front of the console. The singers and organist enjoy a wide variety of music from Taizé to Bell to Bach and approach all the appointed music with dedication, clear in their purpose of leading worship. There are no formal auditions for the choir, we don’t ‘process’ and we don’t put on robes – we are very relaxed. We just sing and love it.
St Mary’s has hosted a number of successful singing events involving the church choir and other local musicians and has become an annual event in the life of the church.
In 2013 local musician Richard Grylls directed a massed choir of local singers in an unforgettable workshop and performance of Vierne’s Missa Solennelle including two organs and three organists! Faure’s requiem was a simple but effective contrast and Liam Cartwright gave a mighty performance on the ‘Grand’ organ.
In 2014 we hosted a spectacular 12 hour hymnathon involving hundreds of singers and organists which spearheaded the organ repair fund and last year, with the support of a Waitrose music grant, we welcomed outstanding international choral director Geraldine Latty. Geraldine and husband Cory led an inspiring afternoon and evening of Gospel singing (and percussion playing) which culminated in a memorable informal concert with much audience participation!
In 2016 we welcomed back Richard Grylls. With his wealth of experience and indefatigable enthusiasm led us to tackle Vivaldi’s Gloria in D, Mascagni’s Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana, Parry’s I was glad and other choral classics.
Choir practice is on Fridays at 6.30pm, usually in church, and all ages and abilities are welcome. If you are a keen instrumentalist then please contact Jenny Hoare or Rachel Gordon about joining the Instrumental group on the second Sunday of the month or better still, join the choir as well to broaden your musical experiences – remember ‘He (or she) who sings, prays twice’ (attributed to Augustine of Hippo).