Virtual Choir

St Stephen’s is well known for its high quality choral music, and we are maintaining this as best we can through our online services.

Many of the services include previously recorded music. Before lockdown, the choir recorded a number of hymns for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, along with some suitable anthems. In addition to that, we are fortunate to have a number of recordings of St Stephen’s choir singing in various cathedrals from previous tours. This has meant that we have been able to provide a virtual Choral Evensong each week and will continue to do so.

However, there are now some gaps that we are endeavouring to fill each week through our virtual choir, where choristers record their parts at home and they are then assembled together to produce the effect of a full choir. Members of our congregation who have been taking part in the online services have commented on how nice it was to hear familiar sounding voices.

On this page you’ll find all of the resources to be a part of the virtual choir over the next few weeks – it will be continually growing so do check back regularly.

The virtual choir is open to anyone; you might be a current member of the choir, someone who has sung with us in the past but has moved away, or perhaps someone who is looking for an opportunity to have a go at some singing while you’re at home with not as much to do as normal. Everyone is welcome to take part. If you’re new to us, perhaps you’d like to come and sing with us when we’re back singing together in church?

For Sunday 31st January 2021 – The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas)

Please send your recordings to me by 9pm Friday 29th January at the latest – thank you, lovely people!

Some general points to note…

Try to make the words as clear as possible – don’t just think about getting the notes right, but think about the quality of the sound too.

Try this… Say “Ahh” in a surprised way so that your eyes widen and your eyebrows rise; as you do it, feel what’s happening inside your mouth. Hopefully you’ll be able to feel the area behind the hard roof of your mouth lifting up too; that’s your soft palate. When you lift this you’re increasing the resonant space inside your mouth for the sound to develop before it comes out, and this produces a sound that is clearer and has a certain ‘ring’ about it.

As you sing this week, try to consciously think about lifting your soft palate to improve the sound; of course, you’ll have to work on the clarity of the consonants at the same time – watch my conducting closely to get hard consonants like ‘k’, ‘t’ and ‘s’ together.

Hymn: Hail to the Lord who comes

Score for Hail to the Lord who comes

Anthem: When to the temple Mary went

Score for When to the temple Mary went