St Oswald’s Parish Church Choir
The Choir of St Oswald’s Parish Church, is currently seeking Sopranos. Can you sing Soprano? Why not join us!
The family have moved too far away, or they have gone on to University, or … for whatever reason, we find ourselves urgently needing soprano voices to continue to cover our usual wide range of choral music.
Choir Practice is on Thursday Evenings starting 7:15pm. We sing at the 9:30 am Sunday Services and fortnightly at Choral Evensong at 6 pm. Occasionally we visit other venues.
Contact Martin Baker, Director of Music on mobile phone: 07545 310 503
Email firstname.lastname@example.org 0r email@example.com
Choir Visit to Derby Cathedral
Our current Director of Music, Martin Baker was appointed Organist and Choirmaster in January 2004. Previous to this, he was Assistant Organist and subsequently Organist and Master of the Choristers at Bradford Cathedral for nearly 20 years. Initially at St Oswald’s there was a choir consisting of 5 regular and loyal members but numbers soon grew.
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 twenty first 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. Further information and pictures can also be found on the website. On Remembrance Sunday evening this year, we presented a concert, of anthems and organ music suitable for the day. There was the usual Advent Carol Service on November 27th and there was a Traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols on the Sunday before Christmas.
The choir currently rehearses on a Thursday evening from 19.00 – 20.50 and also before every service. There are extra practices around Christmas and Easter time and also when 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’, Easter-egg hunts, Summer barbeques to name but a few.
The choir has been invited to sing at several churches in both Leeds and Bradford and are regularly requested to sing at weddings both at St Oswald’s and St Paul’s churches. We participated in a Livings Festival at Trinity College in Cambridge in 2005 , a memorable event, and have sung at St Alban’s Cathedral on three occasions, most recently in September 2014 when we sang the weekend services during the absence of the Abbey Choir. In the summer of 2009 the choir sang services and gave concerts in a variety of churches during a tour of Kent. We have also performed at the Grassington Dickensian Festival and at the Otley Victorian Fayre. This year we sang at the turning on of Yeadon Christmas Lights, and will sing at ‘The Barn’ in Esholt, a ‘The White Cross’ and at an after dinner concert at Hoyle Court in Baildon. On Saturday 5th November we travelled to Derby for a ‘Choir day out’ included singing Choral Evensong in the Cathedral.
Last year we 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. This includes their 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 wordhip 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 in Choral Evensong at St Oswald’s parish church on the second and fourth Sunday evenings every month except August. If you are new to this service there is guide to follow the Order for Evening Prayer which will be helpful in finding your way around. Said Evensong is now taking place on the first, third and any fifth Sunday in the month.
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.