THE BOYS', GIRLS' AND ATB CHOIRS

The most visible part of music making at St James' is the choir. Founded in 1921, the choir has been constantly recognised as one of the leading parish church choirs in the Midlands. This reputation is maintained by the hard work and dedication of the church's choirs who sing two services each Sunday, and at numerous special occasions throughout the year. The choir leads the congregation in hymn singing and also offers pieces of choral music during the service.

The choirs - and indeed everyone at St James the Greater - take pride in continuing the 500 year-old tradition of English choral music that is part of both the church's and our nation's heritage. Sadly, this tradition is currently in decline but this is one of very few remaining parish churches with separate boys' and girls' choirs who sing with the ATB choir, both individually and combined; the Men also sing some services on their own. In recent years' ladies have joined to sing alto alongside the countertenors, tenors and basses.

There are two Choral Services on most Sundays. The 10.30am Holy Eucharist and the 6.30pm Choral Evensong.

Advent Procession 2016

Advent Procession 2016
Photo: Tony Bentley

SPECIAL SERVICES

Between December and February, there are four special choral services: the Advent Carol Service, the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, the Epiphany Carol Service and a service for Candlemas. An Easter carol service is usually held after Easter. These are always extremely popular and are firm favourites with the congregation and visitors alike.

In addition to this, the choir marks special church festivals, including a Requiem Mass on All Saints' Sunday, a special service of music for Passiontide on the evening of Palm Sunday and enhancing the significance of the events of Holy Week.

TOURS AND RECORDINGS

The choir usually tours each summer. In the past the choir has visited many cathedrals, including Norwich, Peterborough, Canterbury, York Minster, Ripon, Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Truro, Carlisle, Wells, Birmingham, Chichester, Ely, Lichfield, Salisbury, Exeter, Lincoln and Beverley Minster. The choir has also given concerts while on tour in Germany, France, Switzerland and the USA; recorded several CD's and has been heard on local, national and worldwide radio and television.

Choir Logo

BEING A CHORISTER

Boys and girls normally join the choir between the ages of 7 and 10. Entry is by invitation, following an audition. All choristers receive training in singing and music theory by a dedicated team of professional musicians. In return for their hard work and dedication, boys and girls are paid a small allowance, which increases with experience, and extra sums are paid for singing at special services, such as weddings. In addition, there are parties and fun trips, and there is the opportunity for the boys and girls to let off some steam after the Friday rehearsal in the Choir Club.

Hymn: How shall I sing that majesty?

Singing in a choir such as this is about the only activity where boys and girls as young as six can work at and achieve the same standards and at the same time as adults. The lessons learned by such teamwork will remain with them for the rest of their lives. As well as giving an unbeatable musical education, small Musical Scholarships may be made available to suitable candidates.

In June 2015 it was announced that Choral Scholarships, worth £1000 per annum, are to made available from September, for experienced Alto and Tenor singers who are in full-time education.

The is always pleased to hear from anyone interested in joining the choir. Places are available for boys and girls as well as Gentlemen Singers in the Countertenor/Alto, Tenor and Bass sections.

REHEARSAL TIMES

The normal rehearsals, during term-time are as follows:

Friday
18:00 - 19:30   (Boys & Girls)
19:30 - 20:30   (Full)
20:30 - 21:00   (Men)
Sunday
09:30 - 10:00   (Boys and/or Girls)
10:00 - 10:30   (Full)
17:30 - 18:00   (Boys and/or Girls)
17:45 - 18:30   (Full)

THE ST JAMES' SINGERS

The St James' Singers provide choral music at services when the Boys', Girls' and ATB are on holiday; these services are generally on the Sundays that occur during half terms and other school holidays. They also join the regular choirs for some services during the year. Rehearsals are held on alternate Thursday evenings and any singer who can read music is welcome to join the singers.

Hymn: How shall I sing that majesty?

If you would like more information then please contact the .

There is a Facebook page for the choirs. This is a way of keeping touch with old choristers and to occasionally distribute information. If you know of anybody who is or was a member, please let them know.

www.facebook.com/pages/St-James-the-Greater-Choir/111167688701

The latest Choir calendar and Music List is available for downloading as a PDF file.

The Church of St James the Greater is committed to providing a safe and caring environment for all. The Church has a child protection policy that follows national police guidelines.

For further information, please contact the Child Protection Officer, .


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