St Bride's: Music

St Bride's Choir

St Bride's Choir consists of 4 sopranos, 2 altos, 3 tenors and 3 basses, and has been in this form, or something very close to it, ever since the re-dedication of the church in 1957. All singers are full-time professionals and need to be versatile in their approach - they are often required to sing as soloists in many contrasting styles, but they also need the ability to blend with other voices and sufficient musicianship to rehearse a wide variety of music (not always familiar) in a 30 minute rehearsal before each service. Vacancies in the regular team are comparatively rare (usually occurring only every 2-3 years), but we are constantly refreshing our pool of deputy singers. This numbers well over 100 singers, and as the regulars are not always available for every service because of other engagements, their contribution to the choir is vital.

Funding of the choir was originally supported by the newspaper industry, who continue to play a part even though no newspaper is now produced in Fleet Street - newer inhabitants of the street also made an important contribution to a re-endowment appeal in 2004 and maintain close connections with the church. However, the challenges of maintaining a fully professional set-up remain considerable and new approaches are constantly under discussion.

Although kept very busy by events in church, the choir is also able to undertake external engagements from time to time - these have included concerts in Krakow (Poland) and Montserrat (Spain). In 2011 we installed equipment enabling us to record every service and we frequently post webcasts online - this is helping to bring our work to a wider audience. It has also enabled the creation of the "St Bride's Live" recording label to preserve the best of our live performances and expand our recording catalogue.