St Paul's ChoirThe choir of St. Paul’s, one of the very finest in the diocese, currently numbers 34 singers. The main responsibility of the choir is to provide music at the Parish Eucharist each Sunday at 10.15am, and at Choral Evensong on the second and fourth Sundays each month at 5:30pm, both including choral settings and anthems. In addition, the choir sings at numerous civic services and special occasions throughout the year. St. Paul’s is fortunate to have an extensive music library, which is constantly being added to, and the choir enjoys working with a wide range of the church and cathedral repertoire from the renaissance to the present day. The organ, completely re-built in 2010, invariably provides the choral accompaniment.
Each year the choir sets its sights beyond Bedford, and sings evensong in a number of English Cathedrals. A highlight is the annual summer residency to a cathedral in the UK. Recent visits have taken us to Beverley, Chichester, Dublin, Liverpool, Manchester, Peterborough, Ripon, Southwell and St. David’s. We will be singing in Rochester Cathedral during August 2015.
Junior choristers (girls and boys) would usually join the choir no earlier than school year 4, although many join at a later date. A formal audition is not required, rather a potential chorister is asked to attend three rehearsals and Sunday services to gain an insight into what we do. At the end of the three weeks a discussion would take place between the chorister, his/her parents and the Director of Music; at this point a decision would be made as to whether full choir membership is to be taken. Choristers receive an excellent tuition in singing and theory and are paid a small remuneration for their hard work each term. Additional fees are paid for special services such as weddings or additional carol services.
There are four Choral Scholarships available each year. These are particularly suitable for young singers moving into school year 10, or older, and provide an excellent experience in singing choral music to a high standard. The Director of Music regularly writes references to support pupils as they leave the choir after the sixth form to take up Choral Scholarships at prestigious universities. Choral Scholars are paid £300 per annum, payable in three instalments, one each term. Please contact the Director of Music for more information.
We are currently looking to recruit gentlemen who sing either Tenor or Bass. The Alto line comprises both male and female singers, and the Treble line is complimented by Soprano voices.
Choristers are expected to make a full commitment to attend both services and rehearsals, as listed below. This is important to make clear, since the standard of the choir depends on its members rehearsing together on a regular basis.