Music and the Liturgy at St. Peter Apostle

Background

Music forms a very important role in the Liturgy of the Mass and in the Parish life at St. Peter’s. Successive Parish Priests have supported the existence of a strong 4 part mixed Choir to complement the Liturgy at Mass. The organ accompanies hymns for the other Masses. Every year the Church Choir together with invited choral singers, perform a popular Christmas concert to support Princethorpe Retreat Centre and other local charities.

St Peter Apostle Church Choir

“Almighty loving Father, we thank you for our voices, and we lift them up in song to praise your holy name. Amen”

There has been a choir at St Peter’s since the 1940’s, under the guidance of a number of musical directors, and with the support of the different parish priests. Currently the choir is under the direction of Anne Claire Bennion, and is accompanied by a professional and dedicated organist. It meets every Tuesday evening at 7.30pm, upstairs in the choir loft, and rehearses until 9.00pm for the 11.30am Mass on Sunday. We start every rehearsal with our choir prayer, and prayers also for any personal intentions of the choir members.

 

As a church choir we are not auditioned and, although it is not necessary to read music, it definitely helps if you can! At the moment there are 4 basses, 3 tenors, 5 altos and 12 sopranos. From this you can see we always need tenors and basses!

We sing at 11.00 Mass throughout the year, and at all other major liturgical events, ie Midnight Mass for Christmas and Christmas Day 11.00 Mass, and all the services during the Easter Triduum. We also add our musical contribution to Holy Days of Obligation and major saint’s feast days.

Our repertoire includes approximately 20 different Mass settings in English and in Latin, both modern and traditional, as well as hundreds of harmonised motets and hymns. The repertoire is constantly being updated as more modern Mass settings become available. We also sing the Psalms at every 11.00 Mass.

Over the years the choir has visited many of the local care homes and hospices to sing at Christmas time, and we sing Carols each year for the Dormer Citizens Christmas party. Each year we present a Carol Concert, and have also sung Stainer’s Crucifixion and other appropriate offerings during Passiontide.

We are available to sing at weddings and funerals, for which there is a charge.

It’s not all work however!! We do have a social life as well! A pub visit after every rehearsal, a summer barbeque and a lunch out at some time during the year!

Please contact, AnneClaire Bennion 01926335722 or Anne Elson 01926882654 for any further information.

Other Music at St Peter’s

At the other Sunday Masses, music is also provided to accompany the Hymns and simple Mass settings played by other musicians, either on the Church organ, keyboard or guitar. In addition, a small musical group, consisting of several instrumentalists, accompanies the hymns and simple Mass settings of the 20th century at the Sunday evening Mass on a monthly basis. One of the organists accompanies the services for weddings and funerals as and when required. For events such as First Holy Communion and Confirmation services, the schools involved usually provide the music, accompanied by either instruments or a keyboard. On occasion the Choir will be asked sing at these services.

Music for the Deanery

St. Peter’s Choir forms the basis of the Deanery Choir and invites other choirs from the Deanery to join them to support the annual Mass of Our Lady of Palestine for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Mass for Vocations.

Concerts

The acoustics of the building are so good that visiting Choirs make requests to perform concerts in the Church on a regular basis.

For more information on becoming a member of the choir please contact:

Musical Director:

Anne Claire Bennion telephone: 01926 335722

Resident Organist:

Christine O’Grady telephone: 01926 745939 email: ogrady-family@ntlworld.com