St. Mary’s is fortunate to have the support of an enthusiastic adult choir, which is responsible for the musical ministry of the church both within and beyond the parish. Numbering up to 15 at full strength, the choir rehearses on Friday evenings at 7.30pm, and again immediately before every sung service. The repertoire is comprehensive, ranging from the the music of the Renaissance schools right up to works which have been specially written for the choir.
Although the choir works hard, it also plays hard – we have many annual excuses to get together socially, either for suppers, parties, or even firework displays
Click here for our latest music List
Six of St Mary’s choir sang Evensong in Bath Abbey (July 18th). Click here to watch the video
On our visit to Tyniec Abbey, Krakow, Poland we sang Bortniansky Cherubic Hymn (No. 7)
Beyond the parish, St. Mary’s choir is regularly on the road, taking music into country churches who have no such resources of their own. In addition to the occasional cathedral evensong, we have travelled abroad from time to time, having so far sung in the Czech Republic (Prague and Hodonin), Germany (two trips including Berlin and singing at the graves of J S Bach and Martin Luther), and Portugal, where we gave several performances, including at the shrine at Fatima. We have also performed on several occasion in the more secular surroundings of the Stourhead Estate.
In October (2022) the choir visited Wells Cathedral to sing Choral Evensong. The two images taken in the cloisters show the choir enjoying a few minutes of relaxation between rehearsal and service and the more formal photo was taken in the cathedral’s Lady Chapel with, on the extreme right, Anthony Crossland who was Organist and Master of the Choristers at the cathedral from 1970-1996. Tony and his wife, Barbara, are now members of St Mary’s congregation and earlier this year, Tony wrote a motet for us – a setting of Oculi omnium. Sung as the Introit for our service at Wells, we were thus privileged and proud to give the first performance of Tony’s composition in the cathedral
Comments from recent young members of the choir
‘St. Mary’s is a wonderful choir to be a member of. As well as singing beautiful music, it provides an opportunity to learn new skills, challenge yourself and make fantastic friends in an environment that is friendly, welcoming and beautiful’
I joined St Mary’s choir after a year or so of singing with the university chamber choir. I hadn’t sung at all before that, so I felt that some extra practice wouldn’t go amiss, and fortunately due to the friendly atmosphere and other experienced singers there it was a really great place to improve my singing. I’d highly recommend it!
I truly enjoyed my time singing with the choir at St Mary’s. I was able to make new friends as well as have the opportunity to develop my voice further, which as a musician, will certainly be of use in the future.
St Mary’s, and especially the choir, has been incredibly welcoming to me. I’ve really enjoyed the range of music and the opportunities presented by the very talented choir. Getting to sing Evensong at Wells Cathedral was an obvious highlight, a refreshing break from the typical student life. It’s been nice to get to know the members of the choir and the other students in the choir. I now can’t imagine a future that doesn’t include being in a church choir – but I know it will be hard to find somewhere to rival St Mary’s!
I would absolutely recommend the St Mary’s choir, my only regret is not finding it sooner.