Music has a very important role to play in the life of St Mark’s. The building hosts a number of concerts, recitals and performances over the year, but it is the music at our regular services which is the heartbeat of the church.
Music in the choral tradition has always been central to worship at St Mark’s, as much so now as in generations past. We have a strong choir and able team of organists, which lead many of our regular and special services, as well as a dynamic music group and many other talented instrumentalists.
Our journey to church on a Sunday morning is unfailingly serenaded by our team of bellringers, who also ring for special occasions on request.
The music group usually lead the music at our monthly Family service and contribute to the music in other 10am services throughout the year. We play in a range of styles from lively and upbeat to quiet and meditative, to fit the mood of the service. We try a variety of worship songs, some modern and some more traditional but with a different feel due to our use of instrumentation or vocal harmonies.
The group rehearses, usually on the Saturday morning before a service in which we play. We are always happy to welcome new members, whatever your ability and people are welcome to just join the rehearsal sessions to gain some experience in playing together in a group or just to enjoy the fellowship and worship of playing together in church.
St Mark’s has a strong choral tradition, and an able choir to match. Consisting of a junior section and a group of experienced senior choristers, both ladies and gentlemen, the choirs lead worship at most of our 10am and 6pm Sunday services, as well as a number of weddings and other special services during the year.
The musical repertoire for the choir is vibrant and diverse, in settings for hymns chants and anthems. We include works as varied as Tallis and John Rutter, singing choruses and modern choir settings by John Bell, Margaret Rizza and compositions from the Taizé community. For up to date music details on what's being played and sung at St Mark's take a look at our Facebook page
New members are always welcome in the choir, in both our junior and senior sections. Practice is every Friday evening at 7.30pm. For more information contact Patsy Howes at firstname.lastname@example.org
At St Mark’s we have a dedicated and talented team of organists who accompany our choir at most of our main services, and many more besides.
Built in 1871 by John Nicholson of Worcester, the organ itself is a very good two manual tracker action instrument. There are seven stops on the Great Manual, nine stops on the Swell and two ranks of pedal pipes 16' and 8'. It was restored in late 1999 with a rebuilt wind chest and new keys.
The organ case was originally made in about 1660 and came from St John's College, Cambridge. When the instrument was new, the pipework was arranged to fit into this historic case and, to achieve success, the organ has the stop controls opposite to the standard arrangement, with Swell on the right and Great on the left.
For more information see our Organ History site.