About St John’s Choir

St John’s Church has a proud choral tradition, and is now regarded as having one of the finest choirs in this part of Hampshire – a testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of its members, and their Director of Music Richard McVeigh (formerly Assistant Organist at Winchester Cathedral).

After Choral Evensong in St John's Church, 2014

After Choral Evensong in St John’s Church, 2014

The choir, consisting of around twenty voices of men and women, sing at Eucharist (including the Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei, a psalm and a motet) each week whilst singing a full Choral Evensong (including the Responses, a psalm, the Magnificat & Nunc dimittis and an anthem) on the second Sunday of each month. The choir perform a wide range of music encompassing the full breadth of the sacred repertoire, from the Renaissance Period (including Byrd, Gibbons, Palestrina and Tallis) through to the present day (including Stanford, Howells, Finzi and Parry). Press play on the video below to see and hear the choir in action:

As well as their Sunday duties at St John’s Church, the choir perform regularly at Winchester Cathedral, around the Diocese of Winchester and the Benefice of the Arle Valley. They also give concerts and are regularly asked to sing at weddings (for information on how to book the choir an event, please see the ‘Hire the Choir’ section below). From 2017 the choir will be making annual visits to cathedrals around the country to sing their weekend services. Future plans for the choir include the release of a recently-recorded CD of choral works heard at St John’s through the liturgical year, and to augment the choir with choristers.

Joining the choir

Our Director of Music is always happy to hear from prospective new members of the choir, and would be delighted to hear from singers of any age and experience. The choir has members of varying experience, including such professions as law, optometry, the Civil Service, veterinary medicine and accountancy. Singing experience varies from those who were choristers at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and Southwark Cathedral to those who have only recently taken up singing as a hobby.

Singing Choral Evensong in Winchester Cathedral, 2014

Singing Choral Evensong in Winchester Cathedral, 2014

 Why join?

The benefits of joining the choir include:

  • Singing music by great composers in a beautiful church in the centre of one of Hampshire’s most iconic locations (voted Country Life’s ‘Favourite Market Town’).
  • Taking part in services and concerts in and around the Winchester Diocese.
  • Training from an experienced Cathedral Organist.
  • Completely free membership; including music, robes and singing/theory tuition.
  • Membership of a hard-working, down-to-earth and fun group.
  • Frequent social gatherings in Alresford’s excellent pubs, and end of term choir parties.
Letting our hair down after a recent cathedral visit

Letting our hair down after a recent cathedral visit

What’s the commitment?

St John’s Choir is a voluntary choir, made up people who work full-time, part-time and who are retired. It is therefore somewhat inevitable that people will need to be away from time-to-time. This is something that is understood by the Director of Music, and every effort is made to accommodate absences.

Rehearsals

Wednesday evenings: 7:30pm-9:30pm.

Services

A typical monthly schedule is as follows:

1st, 3rd & 4th Sunday: 8:50am rehearsal; 9:30am-11am Sung Eucharist.

2nd Sunday: 4:45pm rehearsal; 6pm-7pm Choral Evensong.

School holidays are factored into the termly schedule. The choir will have occasional extra commitments during the Christmas and Easter holidays, for which advance notice will always be given.

Do I have to be religious?

There is no requirement to have experience of Anglican worship or traditions but members need to be comfortable with the Church’s Christian ethos and that the choir will lead both the said and sung parts of the service.

Richard McVeigh rehearsing the choir, 2015

Rehearsing for the Festival of Lessons and Carols 2016

A new chorister section

Please stay tuned for further information about the addition of choristers in to the St John’s Choir. This is currently in the planning stages and more information will be released soon. Please contact the Director of Music for more information.

Hire the choir

The choir are available to hire for weddings, funerals and other special events. The Director of Music reserves the right to direct the choir at the event, except by prior arrangement. We can also provide professional organists and pianists if required.

For more information about hiring the choir, please contact the Director of Music on the details below.

Our Cantata Choral Evensong, 2016

Contact details

For further information, or if you are interested in joining the choir,  please contact Richard McVeigh: rtmcveigh@gmail.com

Please do not be put off talking to us if you are unsure of your ability or experience: you might be amazed at what you are able to achieve under the guidance of our Director of Music!