At St Alphege, we are priveleged to have an extremely high standard of choral music on offer under the guidance of our Director of Music, Joe Cooper, assisted by our Organist Alex Woodrow. We have separate choirs of boys, girls, ladies and men, who sing separately and in different combinations throughout the year.
There has been a Boys’ Choir at St Alphege for hundreds of years and it is good to see the choir still flourishing today in an age where many churches have decided the tradition is now impossible. The talents and discipline taught at St Alphege prepare a chorister for later in life and have allowed many to pursue scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge. Famous choristers of the past include Iain Simcock, Nigel Short and Christopher Monks (Director of the Armonico Consort). The boys have a structured week of rehearsals and services but much emphasis is also placed on fun and making friends through regular trips and holidays. During this summer, the boys will spend a week in residence at Lincoln Cathedral.
The Girls’ Choir was founded in 2002 and has since seen many choristers achieve greatness, such as Alice Halstead who won the prestigious BBC Chorister of the Year award in 2008, and Katie Dobson who is pursuing a career as a professional singer. Girls tend to join us from the age of eight and sing with us until the age of eighteen; it is a great place to make friends and support one another. The girls follow a pattern of rehearsals and services each week and occasionally sing away. This summer the girls will tour to Noriwich Cathedral for a week. There are regular social activities and choir soon becomes a central focus to the girls’ lives, a part of the week to which they look forward.
The countertenor, tenor and bass parts of St Alphege Choir are provided by the Men’s section of the choir. There is a great diversity in age and background, but through the joy of music making, very different people have made friends for life and gained a hobby that is essential for the person. Our choral scholars tend to come from the treble line and join us typically at the age of eighteen. There has been recent success with our choral scholars gaining scholarships at St John’s Cambridge and Keble College Oxford. Some men have sung in the choir since they were boys; one man has been in the choir for sixty years under five directors of music. The men work hard preparing varied music to high standards but can also be found in the pubs of Solihull after rehearsals and services. We currently have four countertenors, four tenors and six basses, but new voices are always welcome by audition into any section.
Please see below a copy of our current music list.