Saint Barbara's choir

Saint Barbara’s Choir in 2014

St Barbara’s has an active Choir comprising members of all ages. The choir sings at Family Communion, Evensong and at other special events. The Choir meet regularly to rehearse and have a wide repertoire of modern and traditional pieces. They are always looking for new members and welcome anyone who would like to join in.

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The History of St Barbara’s Choir

There was a temporary church on the corner of Palmerston Road and Rochester Road for about 20 years. The first church was dedicated (not consecrated as it was only a temporary building) on 4th December 1913. It was dedicated with St. Barbara as the Patron Saint because the dedication took place on St. Barbara’s day.

The music at the dedication service had been lead by the musicians from St. Thomas’s, the Mother Church but as St. Barbara’s became more established they wanted a choir of their own. Mr Johnson was playing the harmonium at this time, they didn’t get an organ until 1923, and he agreed to set up a choir. The first boys and men were admitted at a special service after evensong on 22nd February 1914.

Music is important element to the worship at St Barbara’s and there are a range of musical talents. In recent years under the guidance of the musical director and choirmaster a talented group of church choir singers has developed. Some services and concerts will include musical instruments and choral accompaniments.

The church choir follow the Royal School of Church Music ( RCSM ) core programme Voice for Life. The Voice for Life training scheme provides a framework for choral singers to develop their vocal skills, their musical understanding and their knowledge of repertoire. The scheme comes with a range of teaching material and supporting resources and gives plenty of advice on the practicalities of running a choir. It is intended to enable choir trainers and teachers to train their choir or group more effectively, and to help singers grow as people as well as musicians.

The choir practice takes place inside the church every week unless otherwise notified. Times of the practice are generally on Friday nights from 7.00 pm onwards and also Sunday mornings. There may be on occasion additional rehearsal practices needed for any planned choral concert events during the year. Further details can be obtained from the choirmaster.