St Mark's Choir


The choir at St Mark’s Church has a distinguished history, and a rich heritage of music making. Since the early days of the church’s foundation a choir has supported the liturgical tradition at St Mark’s. In recent times organists have included Timothy Lees and Stephen Bullamore. More recently, Sam Bayliss and Peter Eyles have directed the music at St Mark’s. Sam Bayliss was organ scholar at Somerville College, Oxford, and continues to be an active church musician since his time at St Mark’s.

The choir has also enjoyed associations with many distinguished English musicians, including Benjamin Britten who composed the ‘Festival Te Deum’ to mark the church’s centenary in 1945.

The current choir consists of a small, committed and experienced group of adult singers who come from the Parish and the immediate local area. Their main duty is to sing at the Sunday 10.30am Parish Mass. They rehearse once a month on a Friday evening and for 30 minutes before Sunday Mass. Extra rehearsals are scheduled during the busy periods (Advent/Christmas and Easter) and the choir sings on the important days of the Church’s year (e.g. Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday).

St Mark’s possesses a well-stocked choir library of a wide repertoire. The Parish uses the New English Hymnal and a variety of congregational mass settings. Choral masses are also regularly used: these range from Byrd to Mozart, to Vierne and Langlais. The choir sings the Sunday psalmody to Anglican chant, and switches to plainchant for the penitential seasons (Advent and Lent). It also chants the Propers for each Sunday and Festival. There is also an impressive repertoire of liturgical anthems and motets, from sixteenth century polyphonic motets to compositions by contemporary composers. A recent highlight has been the Christmas anthem ‘Welcome, all wonders’ written for the choir by Philip Stopford (Belfast Cathedral).

We are always looking for singers to join us either as regular members or as extras for special services and major fesivals. If you would like to find out more or are interested in joining, please contact the Director of Music via the Parish Office. You would be more than welcome to attend a ‘trial’ rehearsal and meet the other members of the choir. 

UPDATE, JUNE 2017: St Mark's is pleased to announce the appointment of DAVID DEWAR to the position of Director of Music. David will join Philip Burnett to job share the post of Director of Music at St Mark's. More information about both David and Philip can be found in the Director of Music section of the website.

S. Mark's Choir
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