Music

Music has played an important part in the worship at Westbourne for many years and we continue that tradition today with a flourishing choir and a committed team of organists.

In 2001, the parish made a huge commitment in the commissioning of a substantial new pipe organ by Kenneth Tickell.

 

Singing at Westbourne

Choir

The Choir at Westbourne is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). Our affiliated SATB choir includes 12 adults and seven children, currently aged from seven to nine.

Junior Choir

Singing is an area where children who do not play an instrument can participate fully in a musical activity. We operate the RSCM ‘Voice for Life’ scheme. During the central spoken part of our Parish Communion service, the Junior Choir meets in the choir vestry to study music theory and how what we sing in the choir relates to the church’s seasons and the Christian message. In choir practice they are taught how to use their voices properly. Perhaps most importantly, they are treated as full members of the choir on equal terms with the adults and this is what makes membership of a church choir special.

If you have a son or daughter who might like to join us, we suggest that you bring them along to a Thursday rehearsal and we will see how they get on. We don’t do voice tests for children because we believe that most can developwith our guidance, into capable singers if that is what they want to do.

Adult Choir

We have a complete SATB choir on most Sundays but we are always looking for new singers, particularly altos, tenors and basses. Some music reading ability is essential (e.g. ABRSM Grade 4) and, for sopranos, a range that comfortably includes top A and a quality that will blend with the voices of our young singers.

Music at Services

We have a comprehensive choir music library and an anthem is sung at the Parish Communion service together, usually, with a gradual psalm in the Coverdale translation. We are committed to continuing the tradition of choral evensong and the opportunities it gives our junior choir to learn this important repertoire.

Once a month, the informal non-eucharistic ‘Worship for All’ service includes traditional hymns and some worship songs, accompanied by organ or piano.

Choir Practices

Thursday    Junior choir 18:00 – 18:45, full choir 19:00 to 19:30, adults 19:30 to 20:00
Sunday       Full choir (robed) 09:00 to 09:15
For further details please contact our Director of Music, Stewart Taylor on Tel: 023 9258 0672 or by email.

> The Choirs at Westbourne

 

Instrumentalists

Players of instruments are always welcome and there are performance opportunities in most of our services, mainly taking the form of instrumental voluntaries before the service. Young people who wish to learn the organ will be encouraged and supported.

If you are interested in finding out more, contact the Director of Music, Mr Stewart Taylor.

 

church organ showing the two manuals and part of the pipesThe organ at St John the Baptist Church, Westbourne

The church has a two-manual Kenneth Tickell pipe organ which was installed in 2002.

More about the organ at Westbourne.

The organ has featured in major concerts and recitals. The organist team is also supported by the Organ Champion Liz Alder, who co-ordinated the book 'Pipe Organs of West Sussex' for the West Sussex Organists' Association, and has previously led the choir at Westbourne Church.

> 'Pipe Organs of West Sussex' Millennium Project

 

Westbourne's Director of Music and organists

Stewart Taylor started to learn the organ aged twelve and took up his first Organist and Choirmaster post in Goring-by-Sea at the age of fourteen. Since then he has held a succession of parish Director of Music posts in London, Shipton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire and Holy Trinity in Hereford. He moved with his wife Mary to Gosport in 2017 to be closer to their children and grandchildren and was appointed Director of Music at Westbourne in August 2017.

His musical experience includes piano accompaniment for singers and chamber music. He has directed several successful choirs. Stewart was accompanist to the BBC staff choir in London for ten years, Music Director of Chipping Norton Choral Society for seven years and his other experience includes work as an Old Tyme Music Hall pianist and a pianist in a traditional jazz band. As an organist he has given two recitals in Hereford Cathedral and enjoys accompanying his two previous choirs on regular cathedral visiting choir weekends.

A chartered electronic engineer by profession, in retirement he took up an arts administration role and was Operations Director of the 300th Three Choirs Festival in Hereford in 2015.

The parish is fortunate to have a number of experienced organists and choir deputies who work with the Rector and the Director of Music to provide music in services at both St John the Baptist Westbourne and Woodmancote Church. We thank them all for their contribution and support for music in ministry in the parish.

 

Music at Woodmancote

There are usually two Sunday services each month at Woodmancote Church and hymns are accompanied on the keyboard by a member of our organist team.

 


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Organ

Choir