SATB Choir

SATB Choir Calendar

The choir leads the congregation in the singing of the hymns, worship songs, canticles and psalms at the different Sunday services. Services are usually on Sundays at 10.00am and 6.00pm although there are occasional midweek services for Festivals and Holy Days throughout the year. The choir also regularly sings anthems covering a range of composition styles from the 15th century through to the present day. Currently the SATB choir numbers around sixteen singers covering all four voice parts. The choir practices on Thursday evenings from 6.30pm until 7.30pm.

Whilst there is no audition or requirement to be able to sing at sight, the ability to read music would be an advantage and members should be prepared to sing a part appropriate to their vocal range. Training will be provided for any teenagers or adults wishing to follow the awards training and assessment scheme run by the Royal School of Church Music. We do ask for people to commit to attending practices and services regularly but are prepared for singers to commit to either morning or evening services only. We are keen to recruit new singers in all voice parts to its ranks.

The Director of Music would be particularly pleased to hear from younger singers who may be thinking about choral scholarships at university, including boys whose voices have broken and girls ages 14 years and older. Experience gained in a church choir can also be useful in other musical activities, especially the aural tests in instrumental exams.

Frequently Asked Questions?
Do I need to have previous church choir experience?

There is no need to have sung in a church choir before. Previous experience of singing in any choir will help but is certainly not essential. Many of our current members had never sung in a church choir before.

Do I need to be able to sight read?

The ability to sing at sight is not required although it helps if you can read music. Do contact the Director of Music to discuss your experience and ability. For those interested in developing their musical skills and knowledge, the RSCM Voice for Life training scheme is equally suited to adults and children.

Must I attend every practice and service?

Well, mostly! That’s what being in a church choir is all about. Two or three people missing every week can make it difficult to sing an anthem or properly lead the communion setting. However, we know people do go away sometimes.

What do you mean “sing a part appropriate to their vocal range”?

Every voice is unique and does not always fit exactly to the range of one of the four traditional voice parts in choral music (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass). Indeed, many untrained singers have an intermediate range; the Director of Music will be able to advise which part would best suit your voice so that you can reach your maximum potential within the choir. For instance, a Mezzo-Soprano voice may be better suited to singing the Alto part whilst a high Baritone may be able to contribute more by singing the Tenor part.

What if I just like to sing the tune?

Whilst a strong tune is important, especially when leading the congregation in song, a choir is largely about singing in parts. If you have not sung a harmony part before it can at first be a little daunting or even feel like an impossible task. However, this skill can quickly be acquired and developed by singing alongside a more experienced and confident member of the choir.

Does it cost anything?

No. In return for getting to sing some wonderful music, we just ask that you attend the services and practices regularly and punctually for the benefit of all.

Normal Pattern of Services

Many different styles of music are sung by the choir at St Nicholas’. A flavour of these may be observed from the normal pattern of monthly services:

 Sunday Morning (10.00am)
                       Evening (6.00pm)
 1st  All Age Worship

Hymns
Worship songs
                    Holy Communion (CW)

                    Hymns, Worship Songs
 2nd  Parish Communion (CW)

Hymns
Worship songs
Communion settings

(Various composers)
                   Evensong and Sermon (BCP)

                 Hymns
Anglican chant

                 (Psalms and canticles)

                 Preces and Responses

 3rd  Parish Communion (CW)               ‘Watch’ Service – contemporary worship songs ,                reflection on the Word, prayers
 4th  Parish Communion (CW)                Evensong and Sermon (BCP)
 5th  Parish Communion (CW)             Special Services
Including Choral Evensong (BCP): Hymns, Canticles, Preces and Responses, Psalms, Anthems