Wallingford Parish Church choir has 45-50 members, aged from under 8 to over 80. We do not have auditions and welcome anyone into our choir family who would like to sing.
We sing weekly services on Sundays at our two churches, St Mary-le-More and St Leonard. Sunday Holy Communion at St Mary’s is at 10am and usually lasts around an hour. We sing hymns, the service setting and an anthem during communion. The second Sunday of the month is generally reserved for the shorter family service when the junior choir leads the singing accompanied by a band.
The choir maintains a tradition of sung weekly Evensong services at 6.30pm at St Leonard’s, which feature sung responses, a psalm, canticles (Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis), an anthem and hymns. At a monthly Choral Evensong the choir also sings the canticles to a special setting. Our hymns are generally from Ancient & Modern 2013.
We may also sing special music to mark significant events in the Church’s year, such as Good Friday, Easter, Remembrance, All Soul’s, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. In addition, we sing in concerts, weddings, funerals, civic services and lead the singing at a local care home once a month.
We undertake at least one cathedral tour each year during the school summer holidays to sing while the resident choir is on vacation. We generally alternate a weekend with a week long visit, singing all the services during the week. We have sung in many of the cathedrals in southern England. We have booked to sing in Norwich in 2021 and in Durham in 2022.
We rehearse on Friday evenings. Junior choristers practise from 7.00pm until 7.45pm when the younger children leave, with older ones staying until 8.30pm to rehearse with the adults. The adult rehearsal starts at 8pm and we sing until 9.30pm.
The organ is recorded in the National Pipe Organ Register as having been built new for the church in 1877 and was rebuilt in 1916 by the well-regarded Norwich firm of Norman & Beard, including the installation of a new tubular-pneumatic mechanism operating on wind- pressure — a Norman & Beard speciality. Two more low-key sessions of repair work took place in the 1950s and 60s, undertaken by Hill, Norman & Beard. The most recent major rebuilding work in 2009/10 was undertaken by F H Browne of Canterbury, when, in addition to nine new or substituted stops, the mechanism was modernised to work electrically, and the console refurbished and adapted to suit.
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