The Choir of St Oswald’s Church

Join our 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 6pm Choral Evensong.

For more information contact Martin Baker, Director of Music.
 choir@guiseleywithesholt.org.uk 

About The Choir

The choir of St Oswald’s currently consists of 24 members, comprising 4 children and 20 adults (8 Sopranos, 5 Altos, 3 Tenors and 4 Basses). The choir is open to anyone to join and new members are always welcome. We have four singers who join us for special occasions, Glyn and Kath travel over from Manchester, Barbara from Brighouse and Lucy travels up from London.

The choir is an integral part of the church family; its key role is to lead the worship at regular and occasional services in the church throughout the year. These include the weekly 9.30 Parish Communion, 18.00 Choral Evensong and monthly Choral Matins and Compline. The choir sings at all services between September and July and 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 and church schools.

The choir is well know in both the local area and nationally. We have recently sung services in St Alban’s, Wakefield, Bradford and Derby Cathedrals and have been invited back in the future.

During the year we present regular concerts and special services and the choir has a repertoire of over 200 pieces ranging from Medieval Plainsong to 21st Century worship songs with everything between!

Advent and Christmas are always hectic two large carol services in church and a host of external engagements including ‘The Old Barn’ at Esholt and and Primrose Court. However, we always find some time to socialise including an annual Christmas lunch.

Compline continues to be a regular service, taking place on the first Thursday of the month at 21.00 in the quire. We also sing a monthly Choral Matins and are the only church locally to offer this BCP service. This takes place on the 2nd Sunday following the All Age Service.

Passiontide and Easter is another very busy time for the choir. There is usually a special event on ‘Palm’ Sunday and during Holy Week there are choral  services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and two on Easter Sunday.

The Lunchtime Concerts, introduced in 2019 have become really popular and regularly attract audiences of between 50-70 people. Home-made soup is served at 12.15 with the concert at 12.30 (Lasting around 30 minutes). My thanks go to Dorothy and Dennis for providing the soup; it is consistently superb!!

Our Organ Scholar, Grace is now well into her 2nd year of playing and is developing brilliantly as a young organist. Grace has already presented a lunchtime organ recital and regularly plays during Sunday services.

My intention is to explore the possibility of introducing a ‘Junior Organ Scholar’ post. The successful applicant would work alongside Grace and be ready to step up when Grace leaves us for University in 2022.

Laus Deo

Martin Baker (February 2021)

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

Royal School of Church MusicRSCM Bradford Diocese Area

Choral Evensong

Song Room“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 every Sunday of the 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.