All Saints Church
Clifton

Choir
affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM)


Organist and Choirmaster:     Peter Maundrell

The choir at All Saints Church is open to boys and girls from the age of seven years and adult singers and enjoys singing a wide variety of music from the simplest worship songs and chants to service settings and anthems. The Full Choir sings at the10.30am service every Sunday morning and for weddings and other special services throughout the year.The Senior Choir also sings Evensong each week at  6.30pm and provides an informal singing group for alternative forms of worship.

The choir also sings at other events, such as the occasional "Community Big Sing" evenings. In 2013, this included songs from "The Mikado", "South Pacific" and "The Sound of Music"

New choir members of all ages are always welcome and are invited to come along for three or four weeks before making a full commitment. If you are interested in joining, please contact the Organist and Choirmaster or speak to a choir member after a service.

Clifton Choir: February 2014
 

Junior Choir (boys and girls aged 7 to 13 years)
The Junior Choir practices in church on Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. New and prospective members meet just before this from 6.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The only requirements for membership are that children should be reasonably fluent readers, be able to concentrate in rehearsals and services and, most importantly, have an enthusiasm for singing. Previous experience and an ability to read music are NOT important. Junior members receive free training through the RSCM 'Voice for Life' scheme which develops their vocal skills, their musical understanding and their knowledge of the Christian faith. Medals and certificates are awarded to recognise individual progress through the different levels of the scheme. For further information and to reserve a place, please email.

Senior Choir (young people aged 13+ years and adults)
The Senior Choir is a four part harmony choir with soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices. Practices are also in church on Thursday evenings beginning at 7.30pm with the full choir together for the first half an hour. The Senior practice then continues until 8.45 p.m. For new members, some previous singing experience and music reading ability is preferred but is not necessarily essential; enthusiasm and a willingness to learn are still important. For further information, please email.

 
News from 2015
June Maxwell Brown joined the choir in April. Having shown great commitment to practices and Sunday services last half-term, Max is fitted out with his cassock and ruff which he wears for the first time at a wedding service.He has already performed the solo sections of "The Lord's my shepherd (Vicar of Dibley)" with Josh and Alex.

April

 

  Susan, our Organist and Choir Master, announces that she will be leaving Clifton at the end of July to become Director of Music at her home parish church - St Mary the Virgin, Maulden
March

Many of the choir take part in the Deanery Evensong service at St James, Silsoe joining with singers from seven other local churches to form a choir of nearly 70 voices once again directed by our organist, Susan. The anthem chosen is "O for a closer walk with God", words by William Cowper and music by Charles Villiers Stanford.

 

Congratulations to junior chorister, Alex Shabolt, who is successful in recent auditions for a part in the Easter musical, “Charlotte’s Web”, at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage. Alex will be on stage as Wilbur the pig, a gosling and a farm boy. The show runs from 15th to19th April.

 

January

Violet Chapman, a much-loved worshipper at Clifton church for many years before moving to be closer to family members, displayed a quiet witness of faith in every aspect of her life. She is particularly remembered for her exquisite floral arrangements and delicious cakes. As Violet always showed great interest in music and the choir, the choir is pleased to take part in her funeral service singing the following hymns as the congregation gathered:

O strength and stay upholding all creation In heavenly love abiding
O love that wilt not let me go

 
News from 2014
December

The term ends with the Carol Service on Sunday 21st December with Bible readings, poems and carols for all plus these pieces for choir alone:

This is the truth sent from above arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams
I wonder as I wander arr. John Rutter
The Holly and the Ivy John Gardner
In the bleak mid-winter Harold Darke
Joy to the world Lowell Mason based on Handel
Gaudete from Piae Cantiones 1582

The Clifton Singers also sing the carol, "Emmanuel" with music by Bob McGee

November

 

On Remembrance Sunday morning, services at the village War Memorial and in church commemorate the fallen and the Centenary of the start of World War One. As the congregation move into church, the choir sings

Be still, my soul Jean Sibelius "Finlandia"
God! As with silent hearts Charles Harris "Supreme Sacrifice"

At Evensong, the choir anthem is "For the fallen", words by Laurence Binyon, music by Malcolm Archer
August

 

 

A former member and a firm supporter of the choir, Janice fought a valiant battle against cancer. She had so hoped to be able to rejoin the choir in April but it was not to be. At the family's request, the choir sings "I lift my eyes to the quiet hills" and the Nunc Dimittis as part of this service.

May she rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.

 

 

Many congratulations to Josh Shadbolt, one of our Junior choristers, who has been offered the role of Graham O'Grady in the stage show, "Made in Dagenham The Musical" at the Adelphi Theatre in London later this year. The directors were looking for "an outstanding singer able to perform 'Jerusalem' in C major to an excellent level". This success follows on from Josh's performances with English National Opera earlier this year (see below).

Click here to see Josh's cast listing on the show website.

July

The Choir ends the Summer Term with a service of Choral Evensong on the Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Introit: Hail, gladdening light John Stainer
Responses William Smith
Evening Canticles in F Herbert Brewer
All things bright and beautiful John Rutter

The choir is very grateful to Peter Maundrell (Organ) and Robin Welsford (Cantor) for their help and support in this service.

May

The choir sings a selection of much loved hymns before the Funeral service of Mr John Taylor Q.C. who is fondly remembered for his inimitable reading of the Old Testament lessons at Evensong. These included:

O strength and stay upholding all creation
O love that wilt not let me go
In heavenly love abiding
Just as I am, without one plea

John's love of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James' version of The Bible was reflected in the service which ended with the choir singing the Nunc Dimittis to Anglican chant.

Clifton Church hosts the Deanery Praise service on Sunday 18th May with a choir of 45 singers drawn from local churches: Ampthill, Clifton, Flitwick, Maulden, Meppershall and Westoning.

April   Seven choir members sing at the Deanery Evensong service at St Mary, Maulden on Palm Sunday as part of a choir of about 60 singers from a number of local parish choirs. The service was attended by the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans.
March

Two adult and two junior members take part in RSCM Area Choirs' Festival in St Albans Abbey.

Congratulations to Hannah Briars, an adult chorister, on achieving the RSCM Dean's Award with a Merit pass. Certificates were presented at the Choirs' Festival.

February Two Junior members, Josh and Alex Shadbolt, are admitted as Full members of the choir and presented with their surplices at the Candlemas service on Sunday 2nd February.
January Josh Shadbolt, one of our Junior Choir members plays one of the Barnacle Boys in the English National Opera's production of "Peter Grimes" by Benjamin Britten at Sadler's Wells. Click here to see an article from a local newspaper.

 
News from 2013
November

The choir processes to the village War memorial for the first part of the Remembrance Sunday service. For further photographs, click here.

October

 

Two junior members, Josh and Alex Shadbolt who joined the choir in September, are fitted with their cassocks.

September

 

 

 

Clifton welcomes Susan Sims, formerly Organist and Choirmaster at St Peter & St Paul, Flitwick and Assistant Organist at Clifton, as the new Organist and Choirmaster.

July

On Sunday 14th July 2013, choir members and the worship team meet together to celebrate nearly 20 years of dedicated service by Peter Maundrell as Organist and Choirmaster of All Saints Church, Clifton and to wish him well for his retirement at the end of August. The occasion is marked by a buffet lunch followed later in the day by a service of Choral Evensong at which Peter is presented with a number of gifts. For further photographs, click here.

June

The full choir with the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford and the Revd Anne Hindle following the Sunday morning service on 7 July.