Consisting of around 25 singers, the Adult Choir is at the very heart of Christ Church’s musical life. They sing for Eucharist and Choral Evensong every Sunday as well as for special services including Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. In addition to services, the choir gives concerts, visits cathedrals around the UK, and makes recordings. The high musical standards and professional ethos of the choir would suit singers who have previously sung in a university chapel, cathedral or large parish choir. Christ Church is also the perfect training ground for those considering university and cathedral choral scholarships.
The repertoire sung at Christ Church is extremely varied, drawing on the musical wealth of the Anglican Choral Tradition. Standard repertoire includes some of the great Evening Canticle settings such as Dyson in D, Stanford in A, and the Howells’ Collegium Regale, Gloucester and St Paul’s Services, as well as Mass settings by Byrd, Haydn, Mozart, Vierne and Vaughan Williams. Other regularly performed composers are Bairstow, Brahms, Elgar, Mendelssohn, and Parry. The choir’s repertoire features many works by the the great Renaissance composers Gibbons, Palestrina, Tallis, Victoria and Weelkes.
The choir always sings an introit and communion motet on a Sunday morning in addition to either a full choral Mass setting or a stand alone Agnus Dei. Choral Evensong includes full choral settings of the Responses, Canticles, Psalm and Anthem. Easter Day and All Souls’ Day provide the opportunity to perform more extended works, such as the Fauré or Duruflé Requiems, Mozart Coronation Mass and Schubert Mass No.2 in G.
In addition to the delivery of high quality liturgy, the choir perform at least two concerts a year, often with orchestra. We frequently perform with our resident ensemble, The Bach Sinfonia led by Liz Partridge, and in 2015 with Adrian Butterfield and players from the London Handel Orchestra. Past performances include Bach B Minor Mass and Magnificat, Haydn Creation, Vivaldi Gloria and several works by Handel including Messiah, Chandos Anthems No.’s 9 and 11, and, Ode for St Cecilia’s Day. There are lots of opportunities for choir members to sing solos or verse.
The choir’s dedication to the music it sings is matched by its friendliness and camaraderie across its wide age-range. Students find it a great opportunity to make friends who share their passion; those in work enjoy doing something challenging and invigorating at the end of a busy week and many stay singing well into retirement. There is a church bar where choir members go to relax after rehearsals and services, and parties and social events take place regularly throughout the year arranged by our enthusiastic Social Sec.
The Director of Music is always interested to hear from potential new singers. Auditions take place throughout the year by arrangement with the Director of Music, Mr Richard Brain (email@example.com). Regular choir holidays include the month of August and the week after Christmas and Easter.