Join the choir!
We welcome new singers of all ages and ability, so if you would like to come along, please join us at choir practice in Church from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on a Thursday evening. We sing on Sundays at St Oswald’s Church in Guiseley at the weekly 9.30am service of Holy Communion, and fortnightly at Choral Evensong at 6pm.
For more information contact Martin Baker, Director of Music.
Our Director of Music, Martin Baker, was appointed Organist and Choirmaster in January 2004. Previously, he was Assistant Organist and subsequently Organist and Master of the Choristers at Bradford Cathedral for nearly 20 years.
The choir currently consists of 21 members, comprising 5 children and 16 adults with an age range from 8 – 80+ and is an integral part of the church family; its key role is to lead the worship at regular and occasional services throughout the year. These include the 9.30 Parish Communion and a twice-monthly full Choral Evensong. The choir sings at all services between September and July. Although August is considered a ‘choir holiday’ many still attend the Sunday morning service. Some of the children are also members of our uniformed organisations.
The repertoire is extensive and currently stands at over 200 separate pieces. These contain music and larger scale works from medieval plainsong through Tudor polyphony and the ‘English Cathedral Tradition’ to twentyfirst century worship songs. We also have a repertoire of secular pieces, which helps us to achieve a balance of styles at less formal concerts and events. To keep everyone informed, a ‘choir diary’ is published monthly and a music list, for sung services is displayed in the church and on the website. For Remembrance Sunday, we present a concert of anthems and organ music. We sing for an Advent Carol Service and the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols on the Sunday before Christmas at St Oswald’s.
The choir currently rehearses on a Thursday evening from 7.15-8.30pm, and also before every service. There are extra practices around Christmas and Easter, and whenever we are preparing for additional services and concerts. Children are paid but the adults are all volunteers. Members and their families also enjoy a social side to choir life with choir lunches, cathedral visits, easter egg hunts and summer barbeques.
The choir has been invited to sing at churches and cathedrals around the UK, and are regularly requested to sing at weddings both at St Oswald’s and St Paul’s churches. In Summer 2018 we sang the Sunday services at Bradford Cathedral in August and Choral Evensong at Wakefield Cathedral in July. In 2016 we were invited to Derby to sing Choral Evensong in the Cathedral. We have participated in a Livings Festival at Trinity College in Cambridge, and have sung at St Alban’s Cathedral on three occasions, and n the summer of 2009 the choir sang services and gave concerts in a variety of churches during a tour of Kent. We are always in demand at Christmas and have performed at the Grassington Dickensian Festival, and at Otley Victorian Fayre. We regularly sing at the Yeadon Town Hall Christmas Lights switch-on, ‘The Barn’ in Esholt, The White Cross pub, and Primrose Court Care Home in Guiseley.
We have produced three CD recordings: Music for Passiontide and Lent, Songs of Praise and Sing Noel. These are still available to order for £10 each.
A signing-in book is kept in the Song Room. All children under the age of 16 years are expected to sign in whenever they attend and this forms part of the safeguarding and health and safety procedures of the church.
Training Programme for Choristers
The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) offers a training programme for choristers which is used by the Choir of St Oswald’s Church. This includes a Voice for Life training scheme which leads to the coloured Ribbons & medals to award singers on completion of each level – Light Blue, Dark Blue, Red and Yellow.
A parallel system of awards designed to be assessed through a formal examination is also run by the RSCM – these are called the Bronze, Silver & Gold awards. (In some local RSCM Areas the Bronze and Silver Awards are called Dean’s and Bishop’s Awards.) For more information see links below.
For further information please contact the Organist and Choirmaster: Martin Baker, Tel: 07545 310503
Evensong ~ a precious gift
“Prayer Book” Evensong is one of the most precious gifts that the Church of England has inherited from the work of the martyr Thomas Cranmer (Archbishop of Canterbury, 1533-1556). The poetry of the language has moved people for hundreds of years.
Evensong is best appreciated when fully sung and the offering of music allowed to envelop the worshipper. We are thus given permission to worship in a way that stands in stark contrast to more modern forms, where “active participation” is of the essence. At Evensong, we participate fully, but in a different way!
Join us for Choral Evensong at St Oswald’s Church Guiseley at 6pm on the second and fourth Sunday every month (except August). If you are new to this service, there is a printed guide to follow the Order for Evening Prayer which will be helpful in finding your way around.
The Prayer Book may look complex but the aims of this service are simple; to learn about the God who loves us and to offer God our worship.