Music at St Nicholas Church
Choirs of St Nicholas Harpenden
ABOUT THE CHOIR
There is a long standing choral tradition at St Nicholas. A Boys’ Choir has flourished since at least the 1900s and our Girls’ Choir was founded in 2009. Our excellent Adult Choir consists of talented Sopranos, Contraltos, Counter-Tenors, Tenors, Baritones and Basses. We have five Choral Scholars aged 16-18. The choirs sing at 9.30 Sunday Eucharist and 6.30 Choral Evensong and on Feast Days.
We are very sad to announce that Eric Pask, former Organist, Director of Music and Diocesan Organ Adviser, and our Organist Emeritus until his death, has died at the age of 91 on Sunday 25 January. We will miss him very much, he was always so supportive of the choir and organists.
We currently have five boy and six girl probationary choristers in our choirs and more are always welcome, from age 7. Each probationer has an older boy or girl assigned to help them with their robes and music. Here are our five new boys with their helpers.
On Sunday 5 January we sang the Parish Eucharist as usual, then dashed to St Albans Cathedral still wearing our cassocks, where we sang as the visiting choir for Choral Eucharist and Choral Evensong deputising for the Cathedral Choirs during their post-Christmas break. Many Cathedral regulars and staff were very complimentary about our singing!
Four of our trebles aged 11-12 and one adult took the RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) Voice for Life Dean’s Award exam in November. Each had to sing a psalm, hymn and anthem individually to an external examiner, answer musical and liturgical questions and read music at sight. All passed their exams Commended or Highly Commended and can be seen wearing their green ribbons and distinctive medals.
JOIN US – New members always welcome!
Boys and Girls may join the choirs from the age of 7 and receive not only free musical and singing training, but also pocket money for attending, and fees for singing at Weddings! Choristers move on to the adult section from about age 14 or when their voice changes. The boys and girls rehearse and sing services both separately and together, with and without the adult choir.
There are no auditions for the junior choirs as children will learn ‘on the job’, but to join the adult section you will need to be able to read music competently. More details about the choir, including how to join, are available from the Director of Music or you can DOWNLOAD our recruitment document.
We offer Choral Scholarships (by audition) to excellent singers/musicians aged 15 to 18. These are worth £50 to £100 per term depending on attendance. Contact the Director of Music to apply or for more details.
Marie Price joined us as Director of Music in 2018.
Music ListsMarch 2020
Music Group and Orchestra
We have a Music Group who lead the worship at the 11.30 Morning Praise service every week.
We also convene an Orchestra on occasion for certain services, including the Crib Services on Christmas Eve.
If you are interested in joining the Music Group or Orchestra, contact the Director of Music who will connect you to the relevant people.
Organists and Directors of Music have included :
CB Kaye (around 1886)
ER Billingham (1897-1933)
HEW Sanders (1933-1940)
Connie Hogan (1940-1942)
J Loggie (1942-1943)
Stanley Bennett (1943-1944)
Stanley Milnes (1945-1970)
Victor Bowden and Mary Searby (1970-1972)
Michael Hammond (1972–75)
Robert Gower (1975-1976)
Charles Collins (1976–1981)
John Mower (1981-1983)
Norman Hurrle (1983)
Alan Boston (1983-1984)
Jonathan Walton (1984-1985)
Eric Pask (1981–2009)
Jonathan Eyre (2009–10)
Peter Hopkins (2011-2017)
Rob Bishop (2017-2018)