The musical traditional of Dursley Parish church has been established over many decades and that tradition has been sustained and enhanced by Nigel Davies MA, BMus, FRCO the present director of music. The choir is an active and vital part of the worship of St.James's and it is present at most sung services of the church. At the Sunday Eucharist the choir will generally sing a setting of the Mass as well as perform an anthem whilst the Communion is administered to the congregation. At Evensong, which is sung on average twice monthly, a setting of the Canticles, Responses and an anthem will be sung along with Psalms and Hymns. The choir is a frequent visitor to St.Mark's church to support the worship there.
The ever-growing musical repertoire of the choir is both extensive in its content as it is broadly based in its era. Compositions by composers as wide ranging as Ayleward to Woodard and Byrd to Bertalot are numbered within it. That repertoire includes some twenty two settings of the Mass, including two written by the Musical Director, twenty of the morning and evening canticles and countless anthems both accompanied and unaccompanied.
In addition to singing regularly at the sung services of the church the choir will, from time to time, perform in concert or undertake a trip to deputise at one of our local Cathedrals. Its reputation is such that it has been invited to sing at very short notice in Gloucester Cathedral for evensong when the cathedral had been let down at the last moment by another visiting choir. The choir rehearses on a Friday evening at 19:00 for juniors and from 19:15 (until about 20:45) for adults. Other rehearsals may be necessary at a time of major performance or as the church calendar demands.
The choir is a very friendly and family orientated organisation. There are both junior and adult sections but generally it only sings as a single entity. Extra curricula activities are regularly arranged for the choir and congregation such as visits to the theatre / pantomime / ballet and skittle evenings (often against the bell ringers) not to mention adhoc but frequent visits to local hostelries for the adults. Consequently, as you can tell, it is not isolated from the rest of the church but is part of the one overall family and numbers both current and former church wardens as well as other church officers amongst its ranks.
The choir and congregation are most often accompanied on the renowned Hill organ of 1888 which is considered to be one of the best all purpose organs of the diocese. A programme of recitals are included within the general musical calendar of the church given by Nigel Davies or other noteworthy visitors. You should consult the musical events calendar indicated below for the exact dates and times of these. For more information please read our organ page.
The choir is always on the look out for new members so, if you have a reasonable singing voice (Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass) and would like to join why not contact us and send an e-mail giving your particulars and we will be sure to get back to you. Don't worry though, sight singing or a depth of musical knowledge is not a pre-requisite.