Welcome to the website of the choir of St. John the Baptist Church in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. With a repertoire of music spanning six centuries, the choir continues the long tradition of fine choral music to complement the worship at St. John's.

Easter Day 2013

From the wealth of experience gained at St. John's the choir are able to sing at churches and cathedrals across the country which in 2017 will include Wakefield Cathedral and St German's Cathedral, Peel. The choir also travel abroad with recent tours to Amsterdam and Leiden in 2013 and to Venice and St. Mark's Basilica in 2008.

The choir has an enthusiastic and talented treble section, both boys and girls. The choristers are taught by the Director of Music, Mark Hunter, and develop strong vocal skills and musicianship. New choristers are always welcome; further details can be found under recruitment. Mark also runs a flourishing junior band to accompany the music at the monthly all age service.

In July 2010, the junior choristers were thrilled to feature in a BBC Songs of Praise from Knaresborough singing 'The Irish Blessing', arranged for the programme by Paul Leddington-Wright. More recently, in early 2012 the choir Trebles recorded a CD 'Ex Ore Innocentium' which has been well received with favourable reviews.

Choir Awards Nov 2014
Choir Presentations 2014

In addition to singing, the choir enjoys a variety of social events which encompass the members' families and the wider church community, and are an important aspect of its continued success.

From a recent tour.....
"After the service several people remarked favourably on the well-balanced ensemble sound, the lively word-painting, and the dynamic range and control of your singers....they showed to great effect the whole dynamic range from pianissimo to fortissimo, which drew out beautifully the drama of the music. One member of the congregation used the word ‘alive’ to describe their singing; another used the word ‘energizing’: and other comments focussed with approval on the fact that young Christians in Knaresborough have the increasingly rare opportunity to experience the Anglican choral repertoire through their participation in your church choir."

Richard Darke ARSCM

Richard Darke ARSCM

Richard Darke, Director of Music at St John's from 1994 to 2016, was awarded an Associateship of the Royal School of Church Music at the RSCM Celebration Day at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral on 3rd October 2015. The award is in recognition of his services to the RSCM including his work with the RSCM Awards Scheme, RSCM Courses and his leadership of affiliated choirs over many years, including those at Bradford, St Edmund's Roundhay Leeds & St. John's Knaresborough where he has trained, encouraged and inspired generations of young choristers.

Organist & Choirmaster: David Salter MA LLM ARCO
Director of Music: Mark Hunter

News & Events

Chorister Sun 30th July - Choir Tour to St German's Cathedral, Isle of Man

10.30am Worship with Eucharist
Setting: Mass of the Quiet Hour (Oldroyd), Communion Motet: Come Down O Love Divine (Stopford)

3.30pm Choral Evensong
Introit: A Child Like Me (Wills), Responses: Aston, Canticles: Dyson in F, Anthem: Let All The World In Every Corner Sing

Blind Jack FEVA Knaresborough Festival of Entertainment & Visual Arts 2017

FEVA is fast approaching & we have a weekend full of musical delights to look forward to in & around St John’s. See also the FEVA website

Sat 12th August 7.30pm Concert 'John Metcalf, Man of Vision' (St John's)
A musical extravaganza to celebrate the life & times of Blind Jack of Knaresborough for the celebrations of the Tri-centenary of his birth. Join us for a journey through John Metcalf’s extraordinary & colourful life in music & hear his original violin played in the church close to where he was born! The concert will feature a variety of instrumental & vocal music of the period, as well as some more modern items & a world premiere performance of a new piece, ‘Epitaph for Blind Jack’, written especially for the occasion by local composer Brian Hoare. Performers include St John's Choir, Voix Celestes, Cadenza, Knaresborough Choral Society, St Mary's RC Church Choir & Knot Another Choir with the Honest Singers from Musselborough. Tickets Adults £15.00, Concessions £10, Under 18’s Free. A portion of ticket sales will go to local charities for the visually impaired so please support this important community event if you can. Tickets will be available on the door (doors open 7.00pm), but to be sure of the best view you can advance book seats in the central part of the Nave. Please email Mark Hunter for details at: mark.hunter83@gmail.com Click here to view the Concert Poster

Sunday 13th August 10.30 am FEVA Choral Eucharist (St John's)
Featuring Mozart's magnificent Coronation Mass (K317) performed liturgically by St John’s Choir and friends.

Sunday 13th August 2.30 pm Cadenza Singers in Concert (Old School House, Church Lane)
Enjoy High Tea & some beautiful music in the company of our friends from Cadenza. From lilting melodies to humorous ditties, there will be something for everyone. Tickets £11.50 (inclusive of afternoon tea) are available online at www.feva.info or contact Mark Hunter via email (as above).

Sunday 13th August 7.30 pm Romantics with Pro Musica (St John's)
Knaresborough Pro Musica, Leader Richard Fletcher, reveal their sentimental side with a veritable feast of romantic classics, appearing alongside the award winning Cassia String Quartet. Music includes: Lark Ascending (Vaughan Williams), Introduction & Allegro for Strings (Elgar) and Serenade for Strings (Tchaikovsky). Tickets available from Castlegate Bookshop or on the door: Full Price £14, Concessions £12, Students £5.

CD Cover
The choir's latest recording 'Ex ore innocentium', featuring St John's trebles, can be purchased here or from choir members. For further details go to 'Choir CD'

Recent Events

Car Show Parish Classic Car Show and Fête Sunday 4th June 2017 at St John's

Classic Cars - Entertainment - Stalls - Bell Tower Tours - Refreshments & Licensed Bar

Christ Church Devotional Performances of John Rutter's Requiem

9th April 2017 Christ Church, Harrogate & 15th April 2017 St John's Knaresborough

Sung by the combined choirs of Christ Church, Harrogate & St John's, Knaresborough

Choir at Wakefield 18th February 2017 Choral Evensong at Wakefield Cathedral

With the choirs of Holy Trinity, Knaresborough and Christ Church, Harrogate

Introit: Beati Quorum Via (Stanford), Responses: Reading, Canticles: Harwood in A flat, Anthem: Sing we merrily (Campbell)

Christmas Tree Festival Christmas Eve 7pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
Carols: In the bleak midwinter (Darke), O Holy Night (Adam), Sussex carol (trad. arr. Wilcocks), How far is it to Bethlehem (White), Make we joy (Hall), Candlelight carol (Mold), Venezuelan carol (Carter), Christmas Blessing (Stopford)

Friday 30th December 2016 Choral Evensong at York Minster
Responses: Sanders, Canticles: Stanford in G, Anthem: Make we joy (Hall)

St Nicholas Newcastle Choir Tour to Newcastle Cathedral Mon 24th October 2016

Introit: Open Thou mine eyes (Rutter), Responses: Sumsion, Canticles: Stanford in G, Anthem: They that go down to the sea in ships (Sumsion)

Photo © newcastlephotos.blogspot.com

Email: KnaresboroughStJohnsChoir Links: St. John the Baptist Church       Last updated July 2017