The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music. New members of all ages and abilities are always welcome: our weekly practice is on Monday evenings in Christ Church, from 7.15 to 8.30 pm for adults. For further information please contact our Director of Music, Stuart Whatton.
The Christ Church choir is formed of about 12 enthusiastic men, women and children, augmented by ex-members and others on special occasions. As well as leading the singing of hymns and the liturgical setting at the main Eucharist service on Sunday mornings, we have choral evensongs at Candlemas and in the summer, and sing at occasional weekday services. Our repertoire includes over 200 anthems, motets, carols and cantatas as well as service settings, and we have recently added much more music written in the last few years.
At major services throughout the year, the choir performs a more extensive work or group of works. On Palm Sunday and All Saints' Day, recent performances have included Requiems by Fauré, Duruflé, Rutter and Archer, the Vivaldi Gloria, Stainer's Crucifixion, Vaughan Williams'sFive Mystical Songs, Schütz's Seven Last Words, William Lloyd Webber's The Saviour, Maunder's Olivet to Calvary and masses by Mozart, Haydn and Schubert. On Palm Sunday 2006, we gave the first performance of the Natal Requiem composed by the then Director of Music, Richard Coulson (1969-2006), to an audience which included representatives of the Royal Navy and of the families of those who died when HMS Natal blew up in Cromarty harbour in 1917 killing 421 sailors and civilians, among them Richard's uncle. Extracts from this work were performed again on Palm Sunday 2013.
The annual Service of Lessons and Carols is always one of the highlights of the musical year and offers an opportunity to extend our repertoire each year. Recent additions have included carols by Wishart, Bussey, Campkin and Sutcliffe as well as carols composed by Richard Coulson, and others by Assistant Organist, Keith Howell-Jones.
In August 2009, the choir sang weekend services and a Sunday Choral Eucharist at Coventry Cathedral under our then Director of Music, Tom Bell, and accompanied by John Robinson, Assistant Organist at Canterbury Cathedral. In 2012, the venue was Guildford Cathedral under Stuart Whatton, accompanied by Elizabeth Day.