MUSIC AT ST MARY'S
St Mary's has a thriving and inclusive music ministry, and the 10:00 mass on Sundays is always sung, supported by the parish musicians, along with the vigil mass in Corbridge.
St Mary’s Choir
The choir is a committed group of 25 or so singers, with ages ranging from teens to nineties. The choir leads the singing at mass on the first and third Sundays of the month, during Holy Week and Easter, Christmas Midnight Mass, and on major feasts and liturgies throughout the year.
Their main job is to lead the singing of congregational hymns, mass settings and responses, but the choir also support and enhance the liturgy by drawing on the extensive and rich repertoire of liturgical music from across ages and traditions – everything from plainchant, folk hymns, renaissance polyphony, modern anthems, and the odd gospel number.
The choir are always on the lookout for new members. Quite a high standard is aimed for, and the music can often be technically challenging for a parish choir, often needing some hard work. You don’t necessarily have to read music (though it helps if you do), but you do need to be able to sing confidently and in tune, blend with others, and be open-minded and accepting of all types of church music. And be able to give a decent commitment to rehearsals, which are on Monday evenings during term-time, 7:30 – 9:00. If interested, catch up with the choir director, Paul Berry, after mass or on 01434 607954.
St Mary’s Folk Group
The folk group leads the singing at mass on the 2nd Sunday of every month, on Christmas and Easter mornings, and for occasional celebrations like First Communion masses. Led by a small number of vocalists, the current line-up includes - at various times - violins, wind instruments, guitars, accordion, drums and keyboard.
New members are of course most welcome - it's a great opportunity to contribute to the music ministry in a non-pressured environment, for musicians of all ages. Rehearsals are generally immediately before mass, occasionally on a Tuesday evening. If interested just catch one of the incumbents after mass.
Music at weddings and funerals
See the relevant "Sacraments and Christian life" pages.
St Mary's has a small 2-manual and pedal tracker organ, which was originally built for the opening of the church in 1832, although it has been altered somewhat in the meantime. In its original incarnation it wouldn't have been built to support congregational signing, and so despite being pleasant-sounding it suffers a bit by being underpowered for the job it has to do today. The organ is listed and described in more detail on the National Pipe Organ Register, E01506.