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The Parish of Christchurch. Christchurch Priory, St George at Jumpers, St John at Purewell

The Priory Choirs

Last updated Monday, 30 September, 2019

 

The Priory has a long choral tradition. This tradition is continued today with our thriving and expanding music programme. The basic aim of all the choirs is the same: to be able to lead and enhance the worshipping life of this church, whilst providing a practical and thorough musical education to the choristers in a safe, supportive and friendly environment.

Regular Sunday services are led by the Priory Choir during term time: the boys choir and the girls choir, who each sing alongside the dedicated team of choirmen. In addition the Priory Chamber Choir sings for special services and festivals (see below).

 

Rehearsal schedule

Wednesday

Girls: 4.30 – 5.30

Thursday
Boys: 4.30 – 5.30

Friday
Boys: 6.00-8.00 (with a break and vocal lesson)
Girls: 6.45-8.30 (with a break and vocal lesson)
Men: 7.30-9.15

Sunday services (the boys and girls sing with the choirmen in the morning or the evening, on alternating weeks):
9.30 Choral Eucharist (9.00 Rehearsal)
11.30 Choral Matins (11.00 Rehearsal)
6.30 Choral Evensong (5.55 Rehearsal)

Special services have separate arrangements.

 

Choristers benefit from a free, extensive musical training from professional musicians. This team is led by the Director of Music, Simon Earl. Working with him are Geoffrey Morgan, the Priory’s Organist and Abbi Temple our choir vocal coach. Choristers gain recognition of their developing skills by following an award scheme. They are presented with different coloured ribbons and medals in a special ceremony at Evensong as they attain each level. Choristers are paid for their work, and the amount is determined by experience, ribbon level and attendance rate. Extra fees are payable to choir members when they sing at weddings in the Priory.

In 2017 the choir undertook its first international tour, travelling to Venice and the surrounding area, singing in services and concerts at a number of places, most notably St Mark’s Basilica. This summer the choir spent a week in Belgium, again singing in services and concerts at major cathedrals such as Brussels and Ghent as well as enjoying a very happy day at a waterpark! 

The choir enjoys an active social programme throughout the year, including barbeques, outings to places such as Thorpe Park, and plenty of other activities. The choir regularly performs with professional musicians and orchestras, and often joins with other choirs, recently including the choirs of Romsey Abbey, Wimborne Minster, St Peter’s Bournemouth and Exeter and Derby Cathedrals.

There are spaces available for boys and girls. There is a short, friendly and informal audition, but no experience is necessary - just enthusiasm, commitment and a love of singing! 

For more information about joining the choir, please contact the Director of Music, Simon Earl by emailing via our contact page

 

The Priory Chamber Choir

This is a mixed-voice, adult choir, but entry is by (informal) audition and the repertoire selected is designed to explore more challenging areas of the choral repertory. Good music reading skills are essential for this choir. The choir sings for some of the Festival services in the year, including Ascension Day, the Easter Vigil and Midnight Mass. The choir sings a requiem each year for All Souls Day. Rehearsals take place on the one or two evenings preceding a service.