St Mary’s Church is blessed to have the services of a friendly, enthusiastic, dedicated and talented group of singers that is St Mary’s Choir.
The choir sings in St Mary’s at the morning services and at the evening service on the first Sunday of the month. The evening service is often a full Choral Evensong, and special musical services are sung throughout the year at Advent, Christmas, Candlemas, Palm Sunday, and Remembrance.
The choir generally has a cathedral visit each year – Salisbury, Winchester, Guildford, Portsmouth and Christchurch Priory have been regular favourites over the past few years. The picture shows the choir at Rochester Cathedral.
The choir also performs an annual concert in aid of local charities.
Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 to 9.00pm in St Mary’s Church.
If you would like to sing in St Mary’s Choir, or know of anyone who might be interested in doing so, please have a word with Mike Smith
The Choir Members' Page contains information on diary dates etc.
To hear the Choir, click on a link below:
Song of Mary by Richard Shephard,
Psalms 13 & 14, recorded in Salisbury Cathedral,
The Lord at first did Adam make by Paul Byran,
O holy night (2010) by Adolphe Adam,
What sweeter music by John Rutter,
A child is born in Bethlehem by Philip Stopford
Jesus, springing by Bob Chilcott
Ding dong! merrily on high arranged by Mack Wilberg
O holy night (2016) by Adolphe Adam
The first organ was built by Forster and Andrews and installed in St Mary's in 1871. It was a gift of Mrs Esther Combe of Pierrepont. It was entirely reconstructed by Hill, Norman and Beard in the spring of 1922. It had tubular pneumatic action and was blown by a new hydraulic engine although this was replaced by an electric motor in 1929. Since then, further restoration and enhancements have given us the magnificent instrument we have today.
For a full history and specification click here.
Click on the links below to download recordings of the organ:
Frank Bridge - Adagio in E
Stephen Burtonwood - Cantilena
Eric Coates - March:The Dambusters
Edward Elgar - Nimrod
Guiseppe Gherardeschi - Sonata per Organo a guisa di banda militare che suono una marcia
Herbert Howells - Master Tallis's Testament
John Ireland - Elegy
David N Johnson - Trumpet Tune in D
Paul Manz - Aria
Noel Rawsthorne - Aria
Christopher Tambling - Adagio cantabile
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Rhosymedre
John Williams - Star Wars
There are also recordings of the organ on the Wedding page - click here