The choir at St Mary’s, Clitheroe sings at the service each Sunday morning and once a month we also sing at choral evensong. There has been a long tradition of music at St Mary’s and the current choir and organist work hard to maintain this and to continue to expand the range of music which we perform. Our repertoire is very varied; we sing music from the Renaissance through to compositions which have been composed in the last couple of years. We also perform very different styles of music ranging from settings of the canticles by Stanford to anthems by Bob Chilcott and Taizé chants.
At the morning service on Sunday we sing a congregational setting of the Gloria and also sing the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei to a choral setting. Usually these are fairly straightforward in style, although we are currently learning Haydn’s Little Organ Mass and an arrangement of Fauré’s Messe Basse and hope to perform both before the end of the year.
We also sing an anthem after communion. We have around 100 anthems in our repertoire so we have a good selection to choose from. The pieces which we sing range from the quite simple such as Fairest Lord Jesus – an arrangement for 3 parts by Martin How - to more demanding examples such as the Jubilate in C by Britten or Ireland’s Te Deum in F.
At Evensong we sing the responses, a psalm, the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and an Anthem.
In recent years we have sung Evensong at a number of other churches and cathedrals including Blackburn Cathedral, Carlisle Cathedral, Bolton Abbey. Earlier this year we sang Evensong at Beverley Minster with the choir of Knaresborough Parish Church.
Last year saw the choir take on the challenge of giving a performance of Fauré’s Requiem as part of a concert with the Clitheroe Chorale. This was a very successful event and one which we hope to repeat in the coming years.
We currently have 14 members of the choir – 6 sopranos, 3 altos, 2 tenors and 3 basses who range in age from 13 to over 80! However we are constantly looking for new members. You don’t have to be able to read music – in fact some of our best singers can’t – but you do need to be friendly, enthusiastic and interested in singing to the best of your ability and we are particularly interested in encouraging children to join the choir. Singing is a great way to meet new people and to learn more about music. It also helps to keep you fit!
We rehearse on a Tuesday Evening from 7.30 until 9.00.
If you are interested in joining us then please contact James Lonsdale on 01204 852284 or by e-mail at [email protected]. – you’ll be very welcome.