Choir and music group
Music plays an integral part of the worship at St Mary’s. The type of music we use reflects the different styles of our worship including: Taizé, plain-song, and responsorial psalms, as well as hymns and worship songs. We also perform large choral pieces such Handel’s Messiah and Brahms Requiem to raise money and as a fun and inspiring way to grow together.
We have a robed choir that leads the singing on two (or sometimes three) Sundays per month at our 10 a.m. Sung Eucharist. Members of the choir meet on the Friday evening of those weekends to practice and we always rehearse from 9.15 a.m. before the service to go through specific pieces for the service. The choir is always looking for new members in all parts – soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Although the ability to read music is useful it is not strictly necessary, rehearsals are geared to all abilities. The main requirement is having a desire to worship God through music and enthusiasm to learn new skills. Just come to a Friday rehearsal if you would like to give us a try.
The choir has a wide repertoire of anthems and service music ranging from contemporary classic works (Howard Goodall’s “The Lord is my shepherd” or Karl Jenkins “Mass for Peace” to music that originated in the early church and before.
Occasional Choral Evensong and themed evening services for different times of the year offer additional opportunities for singing music that does not work so well at the communion service.
The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) and we attend RSCM and Archdeaconry of Cambridge Church Music Society (ACCMS) events at Ely Cathedral and King’s College Chapel.
We are aided in our worship by the use of a screen at the front of the church.
Integral to the worship of the church is the organ, which supports the singing of the congregation and choir at many Sunday service and midweek festivals. We are fortunate in having a good mechanical action instrument at St Mary’s, which is sensitive to the skill of the player. Apart from our Director of Music, Dr. David Parry-Smith, we are fortunate to have several members of the congregation who can play and assist with services. David encourages use of the organ and can advise those who wish to learn to play. You can find details of the specification of the organ at the National Pipe Organ Register.
The Music Group
On the fourth Sunday of each month St Mary's has an all age non-eucharistic service called 'Together with God'. The Music group leads the singing on these weeks, led by musicians playing the piano, guitar and flute. The worship songs are different from the more traditional hymns that are sung in other weeks, however hymns may be sung in family services and worship songs may be sung on other Sundays.
The musicians and singers meet at 9.15 a.m. before the 10 a.m. service. This group isn't robed and everyone is welcome to join in.