Members of St Stephen's Church Choir recording for Christmas 2020
St Stephen's Church Choir with the Bishop of Dover, May 2022
Our youngest Trebles learning the skills of being a chorister
Choir and Music
St Stephen’s has a strong musical tradition. The choir sing two services each Sunday: 10.30am Sung Eucharist (rehearsal at 10.00am), with a seasonal setting of the Gloria (or Kyrie in Advent and Lent), Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, and at 6.00pm (rehearsal at 5.30pm) Choral Evensong, following a pattern of full choir, lower voices, and upper voices; most week’s the choir sing full settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. The choir occasionally also sing for an evening Sung Eucharist on principle Feast Days.
The choir has built up an enviable reputation for leading cathedral worship, having been invited to sing in many of England’s cathedrals over the past few years. St Stephen’s Church Choir has also toured across Belgium, Germany and France. The choir has also been very privileged to have been invited to sing in Westminster Abbey, London on three occasions. Full details of the choirs trips can be found here.
St Stephen’s Church Choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, and younger choristers work through the Voice for Life training scheme.
St Stephen’s Choir is continuously developing, and it has been great to welcome several new adult singers to join us since returning to singing after the pandemic. We are also establishing a number of groups for younger singers:
An opportunity for children (boys and girls) in school Years 2–6 to learn the skills of singing, basic music theory, and to sing in some of our services. As experience and skills increase, so the number of services that the trebles sing at also increases. They rehearse separately to the full choir on a Wednesday evening 5.15pm – 6.00pm each week, and sing for some special services during the year as they gain in experience and ability.
St Stephen’s Adult Choir is open to any adult singers who enjoy singing and wish to contribute to the musical tradition of St Stephen’s. We are also fortunate to welcome a number of students to sing with us while they are studying in Canterbury at one of the universities. Whilst we are a church choir, there is no requirement to be a practicing member of the Church of England – indeed we have singers who grew up in other denominations and traditions, and some who just enjoy the music. The Adult Choir rehearse with the Senior Scholars on a Friday evening from 7.30–9.00pm, and several of them adjourn to The Beverlie for refreshment afterwards!
We aim to establish the following groups in autumn 2022:
Our Junior Scholars are students in school Years 7–9 who sing regularly in our services and are supported through changes in their voices (yes, both boys and girls voices change!). They will rehearse on a Friday evening from 7.00–8.30pm.
For those singers in schools Years 10–13, the opportunities for Senior Scholars include developing a deeper understanding of the music that we sing, together with strengthening vocal technique giving Senior Scholars a strong background if they wish to apply for university scholarships. The Senior Scholars rehearse with the adult choir on a Friday evening from 7.30–9.00pm
Trips and Visits
As well as singing in St Stephen’s, the choir regularly sing services in cathedrals across the South of England, and in Europe. Coming up in the next year or so, we are singing in:
For more details, see our trips and visits page.
Published monthly, the Music List contains details of the music sung during services at St Stephen’s. You can pick up a copy in church or view it online by clicking here.
The Choristers Prayer:
Bless, O Lord, us thy servants,
who minister in thy temple.
Grant that what we sing with our lips,
we may believe in our hearts,
and what we believe in our hearts,
we may show forth in our lives.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.