Music at St John’s
St John’s Sunday Choir
St John’s Sunday Choir was set up in 2005 to provide music for the Sunday morning Mass, apart from those covered by the Festival Choir. It sings on approximately 40 Sundays, together with Midnight Mass, Maundy Thursday and the Easter Vigil. There are weekly rehearsals on Thursday and Sunday morning before Mass and it is open to all comers, although an ability to sing would be advantageous! Apart from leading the congregation we sing an eclectic range of music from plainchant through to polyphony and modern compositions and some of our music has been composed specially for us. Opportunities for cantoring and playing the organ exist for those with suitable gifts.
St John’s Festival Choir
The Festival Choir was founded in 1963 to mark the centenary of St John’s. It is still going strong and as such is the longest serving active group in the parish. The Choir receives appreciative comments, not only form our own parishioners, but from the many visitors throughout the year. We meet every Tuesday evening at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall for rehearsals. We sing the Ordinary of the Mass and appropriate motets approximately ten times a year on the main Feasts of the Church’s year. Reflective music is sung on Good Friday. The candlelit Festivals of Carols and Readings at Christmas is eagerly anticipated each year.
At present the choir has 25 members. Some travel long distances, such is their love of the music which is sung in its rightful place – at the heart of the Liturgy – rather than in a concert hall.
The choir sings mainly in the polyphonic tradition. Polyphony, meaning many voices’ grew naturally from its predecessor, Plainsong, and is unaccompanied. More modern music is also occasionally sung. For several years now, the choir has been invited to sing at a solemn High Mass in the Tridentine Rite at Downside Abbey. This usually happens sometime in May or June.
We welcome new singers. All that is needed is lots of enthusiasm, commitment and a basic knowledge of music notation.
St John’s boasts a fine three-manual Walker Organ. It was originally designed in 1966 for Hull University but was rebuilt with additions at St John’s in 2005. It is used at the three weekend Masses, feasts, weddings and funerals. There are currently four organists but we are always interested to hear from competent players who can sight read and transpose. For further details please contact
Music for Weddings, Baptisms or Funerals
To celebrate the great variety of music which is heard at St John's, a special CD was produced for the unique Jubilee year, "A Jubilee in Song". There really is something to suit all tastes. You can listen to samples from the CD by clicking on the following:
In dulce jubilo (St. John's Festival Choir)
Gloria: Mass in Eb (St. John's Sunday Choir)
They'll know we are Christians (St. Gregory's Catholic College Choir)
Salve Regina (Gregorian Chant Choir)
Ego sum panis vivus (St. John's Sunday Choir)
As someone who lives near Honiton said:
"I would like to say how much I am enjoying it. There is certainly a lot of talent in your parish. It was a wonderful idea to include all the various groups, the children and the parish congregation, too."
The cost is £12 and includes post and packing. Please make your cheque payable to St John's RC Church and send to:
Parish Office (CD Purchase)
St John's Church
Bath BA2 4AF
All money raised from sales will go into the church funds.