The Choir of St. Mary-le-Tower

The Civic Church of Ipswich, Suffolk

 

 

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Updated 23/07/14

The choir of St Mary-le-Tower sings for three fully choral services held each Sunday:

 - 9.30am Choral Matins  (Book of Common  Prayer).

 - 10.30am Parish Eucharist  (Common Worship, Order One)

 - 6.30pm   Choral Evensong (Book of Common  Prayer) or on the first Sunday  in the month:  Holy Communion (Book of Common  Prayer).

 

Click here for ĎThe Lambí by John Tavener, recorded live from a concert in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, 18 May 2014

 

The choir sing settings of the canticles (or mass settings) and anthems (or motets) at each of these services in the traditional manner. The choir itself is divided into sections comprising boys, girls and adults. At any given service, it is usually either the boys or the girls who sing the top (soprano or treble) line with the adults of the choir singing the alto, tenor and bass parts. At major festivals and for some other events the whole choir combines. Twice a month the choir is made up of boys and men, maintaining a long-standing tradition at the Tower. Full details are given on the Monthly Music List† .

 

The choir is professionally run by the Director of Music, Stephen Bullamore and the Assistant Organist, William Baldry. They are supported by two Choir Assistants, Lis Rollinson and Donna Joyce. Also assisting with the accompaniment of the choir is the Organ Scholar, Dominic Joyce.

 

Children are taught to sing and to read music. They are encouraged to progress towards the Bishopís Chorister and Gold award RSCM examinations as well as taking graded ABRSM exams. New recruits are usually aged between about six and ten. Enquiries (please email smlt@stephenbullamore.co.uk) are welcome at any time. Their first few months in the choir are spent as "probationers" before they are awarded their surplice (the white garment worn over the red cassock) and they then progress gradually through a system of coloured badges. They rehearse two evenings each week and sing for either one or two services each Sunday during term time and at Christmas and Easter.

 

Adult rehearsals are on Friday evenings. A major element of this section is made up of Choral Scholars. These Altos, Tenors and Basses are in full-time education and receive a modest emolument to encourage their attendance. Potential applicants should email smlt@stephenbullamore.co.uk in the first instance. We are particularly keen to encourage young countertenors (male altos) in their craft.

 

In 2013 a Choral Foundation was launched to underpin the financing of the Church Choir, aiming to ensure the continuity and longevity of the tradition of choral music in worship at St Mary-le-Tower.