The church has a very able and enthusiastic robed SATB choir of around 20 singers who perform music covering a vast variety of musical styles from Renaissance Polyphony to the present day. The choir sing each week for the Sunday morning Choral Eucharist and on the last Sunday of every month for Choral Evensong. They also lead many of the significant services throughout the church year and the occasional weddings. The choir is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music and members are encouraged to work through the RSCM ‘Voice for Life’ light blue, dark blue, red and yellow workbooks to achieve the relevant medallion and ribbon at the end.
A typical Choral Eucharist will contain five hymns, often with descants. The choir also sing an anthem and a mass setting, which is normally congregational. Once every month the choir lead Choral Evensong and this service includes an introit, canticles, psalm, responses and two hymns. The choir often sing at St. James, Riddlesdown, the other church in our parish, for larger services.
The church has a fine twenty-five stop Rushworth and Dreaper pipe organ that was installed in 1935. Positioned in the South chancel with the console opposite, the organ is used for the majority of services and has around 750 pipes. There is also a grand piano and a large library of choral music.
Choir Weekly Timetable:
1910-1930 Treble Voice for Life
19:30-20:00 Treble Choir Practice
20:00-21:00 Choir Practice - full adult practice (including trebles)
09:15-09:30 Choir Rehearsal followed by 09:45-11:00 Choral Eucharist
Last Sunday of each month (except July, August and December):
17:00-18:00 Choir Rehearsal followed by 18:30-19:30 Choral Evensong
David Thomas is the Director of Music at St. Mary's Church in Sanderstead. He directs the choir for the weekly Choral Eucharist and monthly Choral Evensong services. David is also the Organist at St. James' Church in Riddlesdown where he accompanies the weekly Sung Eucharist service. Alongside his work as an organist, David provides tuition to students for organ, piano and music theory. David graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in July 2016 with an MA in Organ Performance and was also awarded an Organ Prize. In 2016, David became the first recipient of the Dame Gillian Weir Organ Scholarship at the Royal Festival Hall. David has also held the Organ Scholarship at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. David became an Associate of the Royal College of Organists in February 2016.