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.
From the wealth of experience gained at St. John's the choir are able to sing at churches and cathedrals across the country which this year includes Leicester Cathedral, Newcastle Cathedral, Pembroke College Cambridge & York Minster. The choir also travel abroad with tours to Amsterdam and Leiden in 2013 and to Venice and St. Mark's Basilica in 2008.
The choir is fortunate to have 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
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 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.
For the latest update on the choir follow the links to the Choir
Report for 2013.
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, 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
Choir Tour to Pembroke College, Cambridge
Fri 29th July to Sat 30th July 2016
Celebrating David Salter's 30th Anniversary as Organist & Choirmaster at St John's. The music for Evensong will include the first performance of
The Choristers' Prayer (John Benson, Pembroke 1966),
Responses: Kenderdine (Pembroke 1955),
Canticles: Dyson in D,
Anthem: Thou, O God, art praised in Zion (Malcolm Boyle)
FEVA Weekend at St John's - Knaresborough Festival of Entertainment & Visual Arts 2016
Please come along & enjoy some top class performances in the magical setting of our beautiful & historic church.
Here is a sneak preview of what's in store!
Saturday 13th August 7.30 pm FEVA Concert 'Ave Maria'
St John’s Choir, Voix Celestes and friends present a varied programme of vocal and choral music spanning five centuries to celebrate the Virgin Mary,
including works by Benjamin Britten, George Dyson, Tolga Kashif, Simon Lindley, Govanni Pergolesi, Robert Parsons, Philip Stopford and Louis Vierne.
There will also be music from stage and screen, featuring songs from ‘A Chorus Line’ and ‘the Wizard of Oz’.
We are delighted to welcome as our special guest for this concert the outstanding young flautist Alexandra Clarke, who is 14 years old and attends Kirkham Grammar School on a full music scholarship.
Alexandra will be performing pieces by Ian Clarke, Gabriel Fauré, David Heath and Robert Muczynski. For the past 3 years Alexandra has played flute in the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain,
with whom she played in a number of prestigious venues, including the Royal Festival Hall in London and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
In January, Alexandra performed in the semi-final of the Royal Philharmonic Instrumental Prize competition in London and she has since won numerous music festivals across the North of England.
From September, Alexandra will be studying flute at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music.
Tickets - £7 & £5 (concessions)
Sunday 16th August 10.30 am FEVA Eucharist
Haydn's Missa Sancti Nicolai (St Nicholas Mass) performed liturgically by St John’s Choir and friends.
The preacher will be the Very Rev. Jonathan Greener, Dean of Wakefield Cathedral.
Sunday 16th August 7.30 pm Concertos by Candlelight
Knaresborough Pro-Musica perform well-loved baroque concertos by Bach, Handel and Albinoni
in the candle-lit setting of the church. Tickets - £14, £12 (concessions), £5 (students)
Link to the FEVA website
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'
Parish Classic Car Show and Fête
Sunday 5th June 2016 at St John's
Classic Cars - Entertainment - Stalls - Bell Tower Tours - Refreshments & Licensed Bar
Patronal Festival Choral Evensong Sunday 26th June 2016
Introit: Beati quorum via (Stanford),
Canticles: Murrill in E,
Anthem: This is the record of John (Gibbons)
Fauré's Requiem 19th March 2016 at Christ Church, Harrogate & 26th March 2016 at St John's Knaresborough (Easter Vigil)
Services with the combined choirs of Christ Church, Harrogate & St John's, Knaresborough
Evensong at Leicester Cathedral Saturday 20th February 2016
with the combined choirs of St John's Knaresborough & St. Mary Magdelene Clitheroe.
Introit: When rooks fly homeward (Baynon),
Canticles: Collegium Regale (Howells),
Anthem: Like as the hart (Howells)
Choral Eucharist Sunday 3rd January 2016, Richard Darke's last service as Director of Music
Setting: Missa Brevis (Palestrina),
Anthem: Te Deum 'Collegium Regale' (Howells)
Choral Evensong at York Minster, Saturday 2nd January 2016
Canticles: The Knaresborough Service (Wilby)
Anthem: The Wassail Carol (Mathias)
Christmas Concert 'Wassail!'
Sunday 13th December 2015
The closing event of the fabulous Christmas Tree Festival. Music to celebrate Christmas with St John's Choir and Voix Celestes, including popular & traditional carols for all to sing, mulled wine and mince pies.
Bristol Cathedral Choral Evensong
29th October 2015
Canticles: Wood in F "Collegium Regale",
Anthem: Hail! Gladdening Light (Wood)
30th October 2015
Canticles: The Knaresborough Service (Wilby),
Anthem: Blessed City, heavenly Salem (Bairstow)