Music at St Michael’s

Music, Choir & Organ – Contact Melvin Hughes 01737 241355

The Betchworth Choir continues to lead the liturgical services of the Church and sing at most Weddings supported by the new Kenneth Tickell organ (2014) . A range of sung Communion settings are used for the Parish Eucharist – Aston, Ives, Nardone, Shephard, Tambling and Rizza.  The monthly Evensong is a full Choral Evensong with a choral setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, as well as choral Responses together with an Anthem.   Choral Matins each month is predominantly based on Anglican chant versions of the Canticles (although the Jubilate is often sung to a setting). The music covers the standard repertoire with some more unusual/difficult items drawn down from larger Parish Church/Cathedral repertoire. There is a tradition of singing an anthem at each service and the Choir repertoire has continued to expand as we have exploited further the contents of a new, modern anthem book.  We continue to use traditional hymns with a selection of modern hymnody using ‘Ancient & Modern, Hymns and Songs’.

The Service of Nine Lessons with Carols remains the musical highlight of the year and follows broadly the King’s College, Cambridge scheme and features the traditional readings in the King James version, carols for congregation and choral items by the Church Choir which are selected from all periods of composition between medieval and modern. Whilst it is important to maintain the tradition, care has to be taken not to turn this into a museum piece and much care is exercised in introducing variations on the form.  The Congregation may be asked to sing one less well known Carol and the Choir work hard to introduce new Choral settings of Christmas texts.

We need a larger pool of singers to draw on and would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in joining the Choir. The commitment is not huge and we are very flexible.

Choir practice is on Friday night at 7.45, except on the third Friday of the month, from September to July.