The Choir of St. John's:
Director of Music
I have been Organist & Director of Music of St. John's, Princes Street, Edinburgh since June 2001. In addition to being the principal organist I direct the Choir in rehearsal and at the three services each Sunday.
As well as Eucharist and the ever-popular service of Choral Evensong, St. John's is currently the only church in Scotland to continue the ancient tradition of Matins on a weekly basis, including a wide range of canticles some of which have been dedicated to the Choir.
Other commissions include a significant Christmas piece by Francis Grier, At the manger Mary sings, which you can hear here. Various significant services throughout the year- e.g. Good Friday, All Souls- are enhanced by large-scale repertoire including Duruflé Requiem, Stainer's Crucifixion or settings of the Passion by Wood or Matthew Owens, and during the Edinburgh
Festival significant, thematically-linked services complete with programme notes add to the Festive feel
in the city. Click here for a sample Music List. The Choir has recorded a CD of choral and organ music
for the church year, Sing the Seasons and you can hear highlights of this here.
The Choir numbers around 25 voices and has a large repertoire. Whereas Eucharist is usually a congregational service, on 'high' days masses by Byrd, Mozart, Eybler, Rheinberger, Kodaly and James MacMillan will often be sung, complete with orchestra when needed. At the traditional Anglican services of Matins and Evensong visitors to St. John's will hear the standard cathedral repertoire by Gibbons, Tomkins, Brewer, Bairstow, Stanford to name but a few, but also more recent or unfamiliar music by, for example, John Hoyle, Alan Smith and J.J. Hutchings all of whom have writtten pieces specifically for St. John's.
The Choir is fortunate to have two able assistant organists in Peter Horsfall and Caroline Todd. On occasion a few 'barks' or 'howls' also add to the music in the church- the annual Pet Service is a perfect example!
We are always interested in new (human) members; if you would like to sing with the Choir then please contact me.