Music

Music plays an important role in the life and worship of the parish, and we are delighted to welcome musicians and music-lovers of all ages and abilities to our churches.

Most of our musical activity centres on St Mary’s Kidlington. The church has a long-established and competent adult choir, St Mary’s Choir, as well as a recently established children’s choir, St Mary’s Choristers. Together, the choirs lead Sunday morning services as well as numerous other choral services throughout the year, including an Advent Carol Service, Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, a Passion Sunday service of music and readings, and regular choral evensongs and choral matins. 

The Choir and Choristers of St Mary’s Kidlington, with our Baroque Chamber Ensemble, at the 2018 Passion Sunday Service, featuring excerpts from Handel’s Messiah.

The church also has a remarkable pipe organ capable of giving voice to a wide range of repertoire, which is played by a team of organists including our Director of Music, Dr David Hewett, and our Organ Scholars

St Mary’s Kidlington also plays host to a variety of concerts throughout the year. Local ensembles such as the Kidlington Amateur Operatic Society (KAOS) use the building for large-scale orchestral and choral concerts, and the church hosts local schools for their Christmas Carol Services. We also run a series of informal Coffee Concerts, occasional short recitals given at 11.30am on Sunday mornings by a mix of professional and amateur music-makers. 

St John’s Kidlington and St Mary’s Hampton Poyle both have organs and hymn-singing is a central part of the worship in both churches. The Director of Music at St John’s is Mr Bruce Forman.

During lockdown 2020 our musicians have built up a collection of over 200 recordings of hymns, anthems, arias and solo keyboard works, including a recording of the St Mary’s Choir and Choristers singing Elgar’s “Ave Verum Corpus”, and a recording of the St Mary’s Choir singing Mendelssohn’s “Above all praise and all majesty”. You can browse the full collection of recordings here.

If you would like to find out more about music at St Mary’s Kidlington, please email Dr David Hewett.

If you would like to find out more about music at St John’s, please email Bruce Forman via the Parish Office.