Our website is currently being redeveloped. For the latest information about the choir, and a contact form, please follow the link: new website

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 on the new website. 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.

Director of Music: Mark Hunter

News & Events

Christmas Tree Festival Christmas Services and Events 2017

St John's Christmas Tree Festival Sat 2nd - Sun 10th December open daily 10.30am - 4.30pm (12 noon - 4pm Sundays)

Choir Christmas Concert 10th December 6pm 'Heavenly Peace'
Festive music from St John's Choir, Voix Celestes, Cadenza, St Mary's Singers & Knot Another Choir. Admisson £8 Adults (£5 Concessions) Children free. Interval refreshments

Service of Nine Lessons and Carols 24th December 7pm
Up! Good Christian folk, and listen (Woodward); Still, still, still (Trad. Arr. Ledger); Silent Night (Gruber Arr. Hunter); Christmas Lullaby (Rutter); Ding dong! Merrily on high (Wood); In Dulci Jubilo (Pearsall); In the bleak mid-winter (Darke); A Christmas Blessing (Stopford)

CD Cover
The choir's latest recording 'Ex ore innocentium' features St John's trebles.
Further details are available on the new website.

Recent Events

St German's Peel Sun 30th July 2017 - 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

Sun 29th October Choral Evensong at Selby Abbey
Introit: View me Lord (Lloyd), Responses: Reading, Canticles: Philip Moore 3rd Service, Anthem: If ye love me (Aston)

Blind Jack FEVA Knaresborough Festival of Entertainment & Visual Arts 2017

A weekend full of musical delights took place in & around St John’s for FEVA.
FEVA website

Sat 12th August 7.30pm Concert 'John Metcalf, Man of Vision' (St John's)
This musical extravaganza celebrated the life & times of Blind Jack of Knaresborough at the Tri-centenary of his birth. A journey in music through John Metcalf’s extraordinary & colourful life included his original violin played in the church close to where he was born! The concert featured 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 included 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.

Sunday 13th August 10.30 am FEVA Choral Eucharist (St John's)
Featured 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)
High Tea & beautiful music in the company of our friends from Cadenza. From lilting melodies to humorous ditties, there was something for everyone.

Sunday 13th August 7.30 pm Romantics with Pro Musica (St John's)
Knaresborough Pro Musica, Leader Richard Fletcher, revealed their sentimental side with a veritable feast of romantic classics, appearing alongside the award winning Cassia String Quartet. Music included: Lark Ascending (Vaughan Williams), Introduction & Allegro for Strings (Elgar) and Serenade for Strings (Tchaikovsky).

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)

Links: St. John the Baptist Church       Last updated November 2017