The choir is a group of mixed adult singers, some experienced professional musicians, others more recent recruits, who together enhance the worship at St Mary’s.
The main Sunday morning service is at 10:30am, with a rehearsal beforehand at 9:30am. The choir also sings for occasional evening Sung Eucharists, Choral Evensongs and Saints’ days as well as additional services around Christmas and Easter. Our repertoire ranges from plainsong to the English Romantic school of the 20th century and beyond to contemporary works. For more details please see the current music list.
Singing in a choir is not only a valuable service to the church but an enjoyable way of exploring and performing a wide repertoire in a friendly, focused environment in the company of others, to standards which are rare outside the major choral institutions. It is also an excellent way of gaining musical experience for those in all stages of education. Social events and visits are organised from time to time. Although the choir runs on a voluntary basis, fees may be payable for occasional extra services or concerts.
We welcome newcomers who would like to join us in all sections, especially basses. Previous experience in a choir is useful but not always necessary. A pleasant voice that blends well with others, some musical knowledge or score-reading ability and an ability to attend regularly are the most important requirements. If you are interested, please contact Dr Toby Huitson (Organist & Choirmaster) in the first instance, either in person or at: [email protected]
We are also exploring the possibility of a children’s choir section, subject to interest and resources. If you are, or know of someone who might be interested, please contact the Organist (details as above).
The present organ is a fine early twentieth-century instrument, little altered since 1930.
An organ is documented at a church in Folkestone (presumably St Mary’s) as early as 1528. This would have placed it in the top tier of parishes in the years before the Reformation. Little more is known about the organ from that time until it was rebuilt in 1835 and again in 1850, by which time it had 19 stops. In 1869 it was enlarged by Henry Jones of London to 31 stops and a choir manual added. This instrument was built under the supervision of the organist Dr C. T. Haywood and was described as one of the best organs in the county at the time. Further work was done by Walker in the 1880s and Hill in 1894. In 1929-30 it was rebuilt and enlarged by Hill, Norman and Beard for £1,759 and the console re-sited in its present position in the chancel, bringing it up to 39 stops. Restored around 1980, it remains fundamentally unaltered from the 1930 rebuild, making it historically valuable and well worth experiencing today. For more information and a specification, see the National Pipe Organ Register.
Music Lists (most recent first)