The Choir at St. Mary’s is fortunate in having a very good reputation in its field and sings at all the regular services at St. Mary’s Church. We have a traditional robed choir but they also sing informally at several services. The choir and music are present at weekly services and special services and the choir also sings at weddings and funerals when asked.
Singing away from Datchet
The choir also occasionally visits and sings at other churches in The Southern Grouping of The Burnham & Slough Deanery. Notably however the Choir has led the Services for Weekends in Bath Abbey and also in Gloucester, Winchester, Lichfield, Wells and Worcester Cathedrals in recent years. All the Cathedrals we have visited have invited the Choir back for return visits, some, Like Worcester and Winchester, have even given us a memento in appreciation of our singing their services . The plaque given by Worcester is hanging in the Church Community Centre. Cathedrals we are hoping to visit in the future include Ely and Chichester ( scheduled for 2019) .
Children are actively encouraged to join the choir. The choir provides an increasingly rare opportunity for children to regularly perform music to a high standard and learn a wide range of musical skills, including participating in training courses organised by the Royal School of Church Music.
This level of training can lead to choristers gaining Choral Scholarships at university level when the time comes.
On first joining the choir choristers are expected to attend a rehearsal once a week and three or four Sunday services each month. After this period of basic training choristers are invited to join the full choir, and are acknowledged as members in a special blessing at one of the main Sunday services. As full choristers they are encouraged to attend the full choir practice on Thursdays and weekly Sunday services. However in the modern world it is recognised that a weekly attendance at such is not always possible, and the Music Director will make arrangements where possible for children to remain junior choristers with a reduced time commitment.
The choristers at St. Mary’s are trained according to the training schemes provided by the Royal School of Church Music
– to which the choir is affiliated. At each stage of a chorister’s progress through the choir they will receive thorough musical training and will have the opportunity to attend courses run by the RSCM. Each of these stages is marked by the chorister wearing a medal with coloured ribbon. The standard of training provided could lead to a chorister being able to compete for Choral Scholarships when they go to University.
If your child is interested in joining the choir please contact the Director of Music, Andrew Piggott on via the Church Office in the first instance
Adults interested in singing regularly in the choir are always welcome. We are particularly in need of Basses and Tenors at the moment , but any voice part is always warmly welcomed. The time commitment is not as great as some other choirs amounting to one weekly rehearsal ( Thursday evening 6:45 pm start) and one rehearsal before services. Services are usually one morning service weekly, and one Choral Evensong monthly. In addition there are a number of special services throughout the year Those who are unable to make a weekly commitment are always welcome to join us for Choral Evensong, or special services where a more challenging range of music is sung, and often a larger choir is necessary, or when regular singers are away.
If you are interested in singing at St. Mary’s please feel free to contact the Director of Music, Andrew Piggott on via the Church Office in the first instance