Music at St. Nicholas’ church
A Boys’ Choir has flourished since Victorian times and our Girls’ Choir was founded in 2009.
We have five Choral Scholars aged 15-18.
Our excellent Adult Choir consists of talented Sopranos, Contraltos, Counter-Tenors, Tenors, Baritones and Basses.
The choirs sing at 9.30 Sunday Eucharist and 6.30 Choral Evensong and on Feast Days. Music lists are below.
We are affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music
Contact : email@example.com
On Saturday 4 February we hosted a concert by St Albans Cathedral Choir at our church, in aid of the Parish and the choirs. Our thanks to St Albans Cathedral Music Trust for choosing us as the venue for this year’s concert. We sang with the Cathedral Choir in two items – Wesley’s Blessed be the God and Father and Parry’s I was Glad. Much of the music was taken from the Platinum Jubilee Service and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral Service. In excess of £1000 was raised for the parish and our choir.
On Palm Sunday we held a Come and Sing Event to perform Faure Requiem. All sections of the choir took part except for the youngest probationers and the regular choir was matched by an almost equal number of guest singers in all parts. The rehearsal workshop proceeded well and the performance was very moving, with solos by Ken Burgess and David Wright, Baritones, and four of our younger boys singing Pie Jesu – Owen, Kit, Ben and William. Altogether through donations, refreshments and singing guest places we raised over £700 for the church.
On Saturday 20 May some of our adult singers formed the semi-chorus in a performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Leighton Buzzard to a packed audience. On Sunday 28 May, in addition to our choral services at St Nicholas, we sang Choral Eucharist at St Albans Cathedral with our Sopranos and older girls and boys. The music included Langlais Missa in Simplicitate. It’s been a very busy time for the choir recently!
In recent months we have hosted two Award Exams sessions at our church for the Royal School of Church Music. In addition to external candidates, our singers have achieved the following results – four Bronze (Dean’s) Awards, four Silver (Bishop’s) Awards and four Gold Awards, There were four adult candidates and the rest were aged 9-14, five boys and three girls – several were Commended or Highly Commended and all are to be warmly congratulated! Below is the first set of presentations in April (pictured with our Director of Music) along with some chorister admissions – three surplices, one junior singer, one senior singer, two Silver RSCM awards and one Gold RSCM award. Head Chorister Ivo also retired as Head Chorister of the boys choir and became a tenor choral scholar and our organ scholar.
Boys and Girls may join the choirs from the age of 7 and receive free musical and singing training, pocket money for attending, and fees for singing at Weddings! We currently have vacancies for boys and a waiting list for girls.
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 currently have vacancies for boys and a waiting list for girls.
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.
Our Organists are Chris Muhley and Hannah Gill
Music Group and Orchestra
We have a Music Group who lead the worship at the 11.30 Morning Praise service every week.
If you are interested in joining the Music Group, 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 (1985–2009)
Jonathan Eyre (2009–10)
Peter Hopkins (2011-2017)
Rob Bishop (2017-2018)
Alex Hall (2018-2019)