Want to join? This page will cover everything you need to know about the choir. St Thomas's choir is non - auditioning which means all you need to do is just turn up!
As well as gaining musical knowledge choir is also a great way to make new friends and socialize!
Were always looking for girls and boys any age who are looking to join the choir. The choir meets every Friday for rehearsal and Sundays for weekly worship services. The choir is also part of the voice for life scheme (part of the RSCM). Which provides a framework for choral singers to develop their vocal skills, their musical understanding and their knowledge of repertoire. As well as gaining important musical knowledge the choir will also be a new opportunity to socialise and make new friends. Mellor church choir also conducts a number of trips away. Last year we even got the opportunity to sing in Westminster Abbey. In addition children also get a small amount of pocket money for attending and are paid to sing at weddings.To apply to join us, fill in the form below and our music director will be in touch.
Frequently asked questions
Is choir still running?
Yes. We are running according to a COVID risk assessment. This is dependent on local and national restrictions. It would be worth checking with me (or look at the choir section of the church website when this is up and running from December 2020). I can happily also send you a copy of the full risk assessment if you want detailed information on the guidance we are following and the mitigation measures in place.
Can kids join?
Yes. The choir welcomes children from age 7 upwards. Adults are also welcome. We currently have vacancies for 4 trebles (top line in our choir is all children), 1 alto (adult), 2 tenors, basses are full.
Is there an audition?
No. We are a non-auditioning choir. You don’t have to be a great singer to join – you will become a better singer and musician as a result. Alongside rehearsals we run education and training following the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Voice for Life Scheme.
What do you wear to a rehearsal?
We don’t have any dress code for rehearsals on a Friday evening. Often children may still be in their school uniform or you may choose to wear something more comfortable.
Do I have to be in the Parish to join?
No. We have choir members currently living as far away as Romiley and Poynton. Most live in Mellor / Marple Bridge / Marple / Compstall but there is no restriction.
What do I need to bring to a rehearsal?
At the moment I am asking everyone to bring their own waterbottle, pencil and face amsk (and take them home again). I’m also asking that everyone has a wee before they come to minimise use of the vestry toilet in church to reduce COVID risk.
Do I have to have been baptised or be a Christian to join the choir?
No. We welcome anybody with any faith, those who are questioning and those who are not of faith. Clearly being a church choir, the music we sing is generally church music and our main purpose is to support the worship at St. Thomas’ Church by leading the sung and spoken parts of the church service. Part of the education that we do is to explain what we are singing about and it’s meaning. Rehearsals end with a brief prayer (the daily prayer for choristers).
Do I have to be a certain type of person to join the choir?
No. The choir as St Thomas’ Church are committed to inclusivity and value diversity. We welcome newcomers of any age (above 7!), race, gender, sexuality, class etc.
Will my son/daughter settle in the choir?
Well I hope so. I guess choir will not suit everyone but the best way to find out is to try it out. There are children in the choir from most of the local schools (Mellor Primary, Ludworth, St. Mary’s, Romiley Primary, Marple Hall, Stockport Grammar, Chethams) so there is likely to be a familiar face. There is a break time in rehearsal to give some time for forming social bonds. I think it is one of the main things that the children enjoy in choir is meeting up with friends. We are a social group and there is a good mix of everyone getting to know each other across the whole choir. Unfortunately, COVID is currently disrupting us holding our usual social events. If there are any problems or worries with settling in then please speak to any of the head choristers (Molly, Laura, Oscar) or myself. You will be given someone at your first rehearsal to help you out.
Will my child struggle if the groups are already formed?
Well I hope not. The choir is not very cliquey. It is a small group of never more than 20 children and currently never more than 10 children in a half choir, so everyone tends to be inclusive. Again, any worries or problems to the head choristers or myself.
When is a good age to start?
Any age 7-70+ is a great time to start singing in the choir. Generally, we aim most recruitment at a primary school age before other competing activities crowd us out.
What is the commitment?
Attendance at Friday evening rehearsals and (when comfortable) Sunday morning services is expected most weeks (or please let me know to help with planning). Once a month (usually third Sunday) we hold an additional Sunday Evening service which has a lot of music to sing and is the choir highlight of the month. We also sing in occasional special services such as the Nine Lessons and Carols on the Sunday before Christmas and on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday of Holy Week just before Easter. The trebles of the choir are asked to sing for Weddings on a Saturday on occasions – these are optional but there is extra pay on offer. For parents, we hope that you would come and support choir events. We also have a rota of volunteer adults to sit in on the trebles’ rehearsals as extra support to make sure there are at least always two adults present for Child Safeguarding reasons.
How much does it cost to join the choir?
As the choir is supported by the PCC and church there is no cost to join the choir. In fact the trebles get paid a small amount of pocket money for attendance. Voice for Life training is also provided by volunteers free of charge. There is a cost involved in going on our trips away. We usually go away for a weekend at the end of November to Fort Belan in Wales to learn music for Advent and Christmas (cost approx. £90 for 2 nights per person) and we usually go away for a week in the summer to be the choir in residence in a cathedral for a week (cost approx.. £300 for the week per person).
What type of songs do we do?
We do a wide variety of church music. Some songs are very old (some have been sung for about 500 years!), some modern (occasionally the same year that they have been written). They are written by lots of different composers who you will get to know a bit about. Some of our favourites are: Wesley, Stanford, Rutter, Chilcott, Bach…. Mostly we sing in English, sometimes in Latin and occasionally other languages such as French and German. The songs we sing depend on the season of the church’s year and its various festivals. Obviously, lots of carols at Christmas!
What do we wear before we get the uniform?
For rehearsals we wear anything comfortable. For service we wear our choir robes. These will be provided for you (Mary Heijbroek in the lady in the choir looks after the robes). When you are happy enough to join in with services we will get you measured up. At first children wear is called a cassock. This is a black robe which goes over your clothes covering everything from your neck to your ankles. You will also wear a ruff which is a white frilly thing that goes around your neck. When you become a full member of the choir you will be presented with your surplice which is the white robe that goes over your cassock and hand down to just below your waist. You will notice that some trebles in services also wear medals on ribbons of different colours around their necks. These are the awards of the RSCM Voice for Life Scheme. The only bit of the uniform you need to remember to bring or wear to services are your black shoes (polished!) and black socks.
Is it different because of COVID-19?
Yes. There is a one-way system to follow in church on arrival (at the vestry door rather than the church main entrance (follow the cones for distancing). Wear a mask on arrival, hand sanitise, register. We will provide you with your own set of music and a pigeonhole in which to keep it in the choir vestry. Everyone is spaced out much more than normal. We are currently singing as half-choirs so there are half the number in the choir as there would be normally. This means that the choice of music is also going to be slightly easier.
What is the timing of Friday rehearsals?
Arrive in time for 6.30pm start to the trebles’ rehearsal
Break (with carefully distributed biscuits!) is 7.15pm
Full rehearsal then starts with everyone at 7.30pm and finishes at 8.30pm
Some of our younger primary-school age choristers who need to get home to bed leave at 8pm.
Can parents sit in on rehearsals?
Yes – observers are welcome. I request we have at least one other adult present for Child Safeguarding procedure. We are not currently running the teaching sessions in the vestry during rehearsals as we are limiting the numbers in church which means everyone really just needs to be singing at the moment.
The easiest way to join the choir is to fill in the form below. However if you prefer you can email our director of music.