St Bride's: Music

Introduction

Music plays an enormous and vital role in the life of St Bride's. Central to this is the work of our professional choir of 12 adult singers, which sings at morning and evening services every Sunday throughout the year and also provides an enormous variety of music for weddings, funerals, memorial services and carol services.

This is the continuation of a long tradition - important musical figures associated with St Bride's include Thomas Weelkes (organist of Chichester Cathedral in the early 17th century, who is buried in the crypt) and Henry Purcell, whose Te Deum and Jubilate were first performed in the church in 1694. Our music aims to nurture and inspire regular worshippers, but also to speak to those of every faith and none.

Although liturgical music remains at the heart of what we do, there are numerous musical events apart from the regular choral services. EC4 Music is an organisation drawn from many of the firms around Fleet Street - although both choir and orchestra are almost entirely amateur, their annual concerts (usually held on weekday evenings in June) are always of a high standard and attract a capacity audience.

Lunchtime concerts take place on Tuesdays and Fridays, often given by students and young professionals, which are well attended. The church is also frequently hired for other musical events, notably by the City of London Festival and by the John Armitage Memorial (JAM), which held its first concert here.

The effect of all music in the church can sometimes be overwhelming because of the acoustics (described by Gordon Reynolds, a previous Director of Music, as "perilously lively!"), but the enthusiastic response from many first-time visitors demonstrates that listening to music in St Bride's is a very special experience which we hope to extend to even more people in the years to come.