Choir of St Barnabas
Music plays a hugely important part in the life of our parish. We recognise that it is through music that many people find the deepest expression of their faith, while for others it may offer a stepping stone to greater involvement with the church. We offer our music in service to the glory of God.
St Barnabas Choir
What music do we sing?
Click the Youtube link to listen to our choir sing on St Barnabas Day 2021.
The choir sings a broad and diverse repertoire of music. Although some experience of singing is helpful, there is no requirement for singers to be able to read music. Music is shared in advance of weekly rehearsals so there is plenty of time to prepare. St Barnabas is fortunate to have many strong singers who are able to lead each section and encourage new members.
Our termly music list can be seen here.
Music at Christ’s chapel
Music at Chapel services is led by two choirs. Dulwich College Choir sing Evensong frequently in term time. On the first Sunday of the month a small dedicated choir sings Choral Matins and then Choral Evensong on the remaining Sundays. They are directed by the Chapel organist. There are regular organ recitals throughout the year. The foundation schools frequently offer lunchtime recitals at the Chapel.
Singing is accompanied by the 1760 George England organ, recently reconstructed and refurbished by William Drake of Buckfastleigh. The Chapel possesses one of the finest organs of that era in the country. Most recently, the Chapel purchased a Steinway Upright piano.
The choir singing in Dresden, Germany
A BRIEF HISTORY
The choir has a long and distinguished history with a robed choir of adults and children singing services in the Parish since the very first days of the old William Wood church in 1894. Records from 1891 show that from the very beginning – and even in a temporary building – the choir was a success such that it was oversubscribed, and an auxiliary choir was formed. The following year one of the first choristers was appointed to the choir of the Chapel Royal St James, the first in a long line of such achievements; in 1992, a century later, Gavin Moralee from the St Barnabas choir was Choirboy of the Year. More recently, former choristers have gone on to hold choral scholarships in colleges and cathedrals across the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge. The choir has been on tours to Italy and Germany. St Barnabas supports four stipendiary choral scholarships of its own, with the aim of promoting the value of community singing to young and aspiring undergraduate or postgraduate musicians.
The rebuilding of a new church in 1996 gave the church community the chance to cement the place of music within the life of the church. The 1997 Kenneth Tickell pipe organ sits at the east end – underneath the stunning Caroline Swash glass roundel – with the choir stalls just in front. The organ is first-class and is equally versatile when accompanying the choir or playing solo repertoire. St Barnabas is fortunate to have two excellent organists and organ music is appreciated by the choir and congregation alike.