Bampton St Mary’s Choir – Is this something you would like to join?
St Marys Choir performs under the directorship of David New, the Organist, Choirmaster and Director of Music. The Choir sings at our Sunday services each week. Both the Senior Choir and Junior Choir practice weekly to prepare for Sunday and other performances. It is a four-part choir, currently with an adult membership of approximately 18, along with a small number of Juniors.
The Seniors also enjoy the odd social occasion together, just to liven things up! These activities range from the now traditional Choir BBQ in May, to trying Pilates in the past, going out to a concert, and eating out together (new ideas always welcome!). Choir practice often involves a certain amount of ‘banter’; the choirmaster believes in a relaxed attitude and to try and make things ‘fun’, as well as getting on with the business of learning new pieces and re-acquainting ourselves with past music. It does work most of the time and the choir is certainly a good team!!
We also have a small number of children who form the Junior Choir. The Junior Choir meet weekly to practice on a Friday evening before the Seniors come in, then stay on with the Seniors during the main part of the evening. The Junior Choir also spend a certain amount of time learning to read music during their practice time, along with learning how to sing! They also have occasional impromptu quizzes or other activities to try and lighten the evening. They have recently started to sing occasionally on their own for a service for one Sunday a month. Visits and extra activities are also laid on, on occasion for the Juniors with activities in the past including a trip to a local dairy farm to watch milking (the choirmaster is a farmer!), a lambing trip, a visit up to the church belfry, trips out bowling and a trip to the cinema. The idea is to encourage a team spirit and make things as interesting as possible, as well as encouraging the more serious side to singing.
At Sung Eucharists, the choir normally sings a motet or anthem during the distribution of communion, as well as leading the Hymns and other sung parts of the service.
The Choir also sings away occasionally, including singing services in the past at Christchurch Cathedral in Oxford, Malvern Priory and Tewkesbury Abbey. In recent years the Choir has also visited Lichfield and Guildford Cathedrals to sing Choral Evensong. The Choir also plays a large part in the service of Nine Lessons and Carols just before Christmas and now normally sings a small work about The Passion during Holy Week just before Easter. There have also been several occasions in the past when we have participated in local concerts, singing secular music as a change to our normal repertoire.
We are always on the lookout for new members. The only real necessity is that you can sing in tune! You don’t have to be able to read music, as the practices are structured to help those that don’t have this skill. You don’t even have to be available every Friday evening (when we practice) or Sunday, although a reasonably regular attendance is always welcomed!
New members of all voices are always welcome. Please contact the Choirmaster David New at [email protected] for more information. Come and try us for the run up to Christmas and sing in the Carol Service – you might even decide to stay on! The choir is also available for Weddings but booking well in advance is a must.