For many years St James’, King Street, has been at the centre of Sydney’s musical life, and never has that been more true than it is now, under the Choir’s inspiring director, Warren Trevelyan-Jones. Coming from London I was astonished by the vitality and impeccable professionalism of the performances. May this very high standard continue for many years more.”
Peter Phillips, founder and director of The Tallis Scholars
The Choir of St James’, King Street, Sydney is one of the oldest musical establishments in Australia, and is linked to the earliest days of the colony of New South Wales. Indeed, some of its early members were convicts. For much of its almost two hundred years of ministry the Choir has been regarded as one of Australia’s foremost Anglican choirs.
This has continued to the present day, where uniquely in Sydney, the Choir consists of around a dozen professional adult singers, and who are an eclectic mix of instrumentalists, vocal soloists, teachers, jazz musicians, composers, artistic administrators, musical theatre performers and lawyers. The Choir itself maintains a regular schedule of weekly choral services including Wednesday evensong and Sunday Choral Eucharist, in addition to special services including weddings, funeral, state funerals and memorials. It has become known and highly regarded for its artistically outstanding performances, from small choral pieces to large-scale choral and orchestral works. The Choir presents an annual series of three Orchestral Masses in January, and a Concert Series of six concerts throughout the year, and a Bach Cantata series with BachBand@St James’, where, four times a year, a Cantata by J.S. Bach is performed in a liturgical setting, modelled on the Lutheran Service of Vespers.
The Choir enjoys regular collaborations with international groups such as The Tallis Scholars, The King’s Singers, The Gabrieli Consort, and works with Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Baroque Brass, The Australian Haydn Ensemble, and soloists Yvonne Kenny, Greta Bradman and Teddy Tahu Rhodes.
The Choir of St James’ has a large and varied repertoire, both sacred and secular, encompassing music from the Middle Ages to the contemporary, and it is committed to supporting new Australian works, including compositions written by past and present members of the Choir; there is no other choir in Australia that fosters local talent in this way. It also undertakes a comprehensive programme of recording, broadcasting and touring, interstate and overseas. The Choir undertook its first European tour in 2016, performing services and concerts in Westminster Abbey, Winchester and Exeter Cathedrals, Church of St Mary-le-Bow (UK), Notre Dame, Saint-Louis en l’Île, and La Madeleine (Paris), Stephansdom and Kirche am Steinhof (Vienna), Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata (Norma, Italy), Baldini Hall, Basilica of St Ignazio di Loyola and Church of Caravita (Rome), and Basilica Cattedrale di Sant’Agapito Martire (Palestrina).
The Choir of St James’ made its debut at City Recital Hall in April 2017, performing J.S. Bach’s St John Passion with the Baroque ensemble, BachBand@St James’, returning in April this year to perform Handel’s Messiah with BachBand@St James’.
In late April 2017, the Choir was invited by the Department of Veteran Affairs to sing at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Gallipoli and returned there in April 2018.
In recent years, the Choir has travelled interstate to Melbourne and Perth, and in 2018 performed to critical acclaim at the Coriole Music Festival and Hobart’s Festival of Voices.
Current Music List
The Choir is available for recitals, sacred or secular. Please contact the Head of Music, for further details.
Head of Music: Warren Trevelyan-Jones
Organist: Alistair Nelson
Organ Scholar: Titus Grenyer
Current permanent Choir members are:
Soprano: Claire Burrell-McDonald, Chloe Lankshear, Amy Moore, Brooke Shelley
Alto: Steph Dillon, Alex Siegers
Tenor: Owen Elsley, Luke Iredale, Ian McCahon
Bass: Alistair Clark, Philip Murray
Choral Scholars: Elise Morton, Aidan O’Donnell, Cronan Yu
T: (02) 8227 1306/8 F: (02) 9232 4182