At St Alphege, we are privileged to have an extremely high standard of choral music on offer. We have separate choirs of boys, girls, ladies and men, who sing on their own and in different combinations throughout the year. Our former Director of Music, Joe Cooper, left us at the end of August 2021 to take up the post of Director of Music at Bangor Cathedral. We wish Joe every success in his future. We are delighted to announce the appointment of Christopher Martin Thomas as our new Director of Music and Organist at St Alphege Church, Solihull. Christopher studied at Bristol University, Berliner Kirchenmusikschule, Cambridge University and Kings College London. Currenlty Music Director at St John the Baptist, Keynsham, Christopher will take up the post at St Alphege in November 2021.
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 Tom Lilburn, 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.
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. 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. New voices are always welcome by audition into any section. Applications from potential choral scholars are currently invited – please email email@example.com to express your interest.
Please see details of our current music list linked from the home page of this website.
The Friends of St Alphege Music
Our choirs are supported by the active registered charity, The Friends of St Alphege Music, who fundraise to support the work of the choirs, and ensure that all choir members can access the best possible educational experience.
Spring Lockdown Music School
During the most recent lockdown, groups of junior-school-aged children from all over Solihull met on Zoom to sing together while apart. Here’s the lovely video of their final mini-concert.