St James’ Church West End
St James’ Church West End
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Home Our faith Services Church life Information What's on Contact Us
Church life Music and Choir
St James’ Church, West End, Southampton SO30 3AT.  Registered Charity Number 1132863
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Our choir

We have at St James' Church a fully robed, forward looking and very enthusiastic choir. The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music and adult members now proudly wear the ribbons of membership.

Whilst we are always ready to take up new musical challenges, we are at the same time sympathetic to newcomers and will give them every possible help and encouragement. At the present time we have in the region of fourteen members singing all four voice parts - soprano, alto, tenor and bass - but there is always room for more. We would particularly like some more juniors as these are the young people who will help cement the future of church music in general and our choir in particular.

We aim to enhance traditional worship by injecting a varied and exciting variety of music.

I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.  (1 Corinthians 14.15)

Join Us

Become a part of our choir family!

Have you ever thought of giving a church choir a try? If the answer to this is 'Yes' then please feel free to turn up at one of our practices which are held on Tuesday evenings between 8pm and 9pm.

It is only right to point out that singing in any choir requires a great deal of hard work, commitment and dedication and ours is no exception to this rule. The end results, though, are well worth the effort.

So what calls will we make on your time (apart from choir practice)? We sing at the Parish Eucharist every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. We also sing at the sung Evensong on the first and third Sundays of the month at 6.30 p.m. There are occasional mid-week evening services around the time of the major festivals (Easter, Christmas etc.) besides occasional weddings and funerals. Whilst we would expect a reasonable level of support from choir members for all our services, it is not obligatory to be at every one.

A typical service will include Hymns, Anthems, Canticles and Masses in a variety of settings as well as one of the most beautiful of musical communications - the Psalms. A challenge? Yes, indeed, a big challenge but, as has already been stated, the newcomer will be given every help and encouragement and the end results are so very rewarding.

Outreach is also an important part of our Choir's work; we regularly collaborate with other church choirs in the locality through evening services and special Deanery events.

Go on, give it a try! We can guarantee you will work hard but also that you will have a lot of fun along the way. What have you got to lose?

The value of a church choir

We are fortunate in England to have a wonderful tradition of Choral Singing.

A Church Choir provides a breadth of music in a Church which would not be possible otherwise. Its primary function, from a day-to-day point of view, is to give a good lead to the singing, and to make Worship an uplifting experience.

Whether leading traditional hymns, or newer ones, the support of a good choir can bring the singing together in a very exciting shared act of worship.

A choir can also introduce music written especially for Church Choirs, which simply would not be heard otherwise, from 800-year old Plainsong right through to catchy numbers written very recently by John Rutter. This rounds out and heightens the worship experience, so that we can all feel kinship with the writers and musicians who have sought to express their Christian feelings over the centuries.

There is also a community side, in that a group of people who enjoy singing can get together in a very English way, to develop their skills in a Christian environment, working as a team to bring to life beautiful music, week by week.

Some anthems we have done

Our favourites!

John Rutter: Look at the world

Bortnianski: Tibie Paiom

Farrant: Hid not thou thy face

Praetorius: The Lord ascendeth up on high

SS Wesley: Lead me Lord                Play extract

Tchaikovsky: Hymn to the Trinity

John Rutter: Requiem

Stainer: God so loved the world             Play extract

Farrant/Hilton: Lord, for thy tender mercies sake

A Lent Prose   Play extract

SS Wesley: Wash me throughly

Stanford: Nunc dimittis in A

Ireland: Greater love

Our monthly music lists can be found here.

St James’ Church choir