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 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 recruitment.

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.

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 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

St John's Choral Eucharist Sunday 18th September 10.30am
Setting: Mass of the Quiet Hour (Oldroyd), Motet: Ubi Caritas (Duruflé),

Choral Evensong Sunday 25th September 4pm
marking David Salter's 30 years as Organist & Choirmaster at St John's. Introit: Love Divine (Stopford), Responses: Rose, Canticles: W Denis Browne in A, Anthem: Let all the world in every corner sing (Aston)

St Nicholas Newcastle Choir Tour to Newcastle Cathedral Mon 24th October
Evensong 5.30pm


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

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

FEVA Trompe l'oeil FEVA Weekend at St John's - Knaresborough Festival of Entertainment & Visual Arts 2016

Saturday 13th August 7.30 pm FEVA Concert 'Ave Maria'
St John’s Choir, Voix Celestes and friends presented 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; plus music from stage and screen, featuring songs from ‘A Chorus Line’ and ‘the Wizard of Oz’. Guest artist was the outstanding young flautist Alexandra Clarke, who performed pieces by Ian Clarke, Gabriel Fauré, David Heath and Robert Muczynski.

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 was the Very Rev. Jonathan Greener, Dean of Wakefield Cathedral.

Sunday 16th August 7.30 pm Concertos by Candlelight
Knaresborough Pro-Musica performed well-loved baroque concertos by Bach, Handel and Albinoni in the candle-lit setting of the church.

Link to the FEVA website

Pembroke College 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 included 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)

Car Show Parish Classic Car Show and Fête Sunday 5th June 2016 at St John's

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

Christ Church 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


St Mary Magdelene Clitheroe 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), Responses: Lonsdale, Canticles: Collegium Regale (Howells), Anthem: Like as the hart (Howells)

Richard Darke Retirement ARSCM 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)

York Minster Choral Evensong at York Minster, Saturday 2nd January 2016

Responses: Sumsion, Canticles: The Knaresborough Service (Wilby)
Anthem: The Wassail Carol (Mathias)

St John's Christmas Tree Festival 2015 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.

Email: KnaresboroughStJohnsChoir Links: St. John the Baptist Church       Last updated September 2016