There has always been a strong musical tradition at St Bride’s, and choral music is a vital and valued part of the life of our church. Our services involve the singing of a Mass setting every Sunday, together with motets that reflect the seasons of the church year. Hymns, psalms and various shorter liturgical items are also important parts of our services. The choir is a friendly, dedicated and talented group of voluntary singers, together with up to six choral scholars. Singers come from a range of backgrounds and are drawn together by a love of singing sacred music in its liturgical context.
What do we sing?
We sing at the Choral Eucharist every Sunday and for a service of Choral Evensong and Benediction on the third Sunday of every month (except during July and August). As well as the popular carol services at Advent and Christmas, we sing for weekday services such as Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday. In recent years we have celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi with members of other choirs, singing masses by Widor and Vierne, and Easter Day we sing a Haydn or Mozart mass, accompanied by a string trio. Our repertoire covers Renaissance Masses and motets by Byrd and Palestrina to Viennese Masses by Mozart and Haydn and more modern settings by Darke and MacMillan. Our liturgy also involves the singing of plainsong and Anglican chant week by week. See our Music List page for details.
These scholarships are worth up to £1000 per annum, for those under the age of 25 and/or in full-time education. St Bride’s offers a good grounding in choral singing and general musicianship, and a choral scholarship is ideal preparation for a university choral scholarship or further musical study. Opportunities are also available for those who wish to develop their organ playing or conducting skills within the context of the liturgy. Further details are available from the Organist and Choirmaster Mark Browne (email@example.com).
The Organist and Choirmaster is always very pleased to hear from people by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and is generally available after Sunday morning services for an open audition or to talk more about singing at St Bride’s. We are always delighted to hear from people who are interested in joining our choir and contributing to our wonderful musical tradition so please feel most welcome to introduce yourself if you would like to know more!
Organist and Choirmaster – Mark Browne MA FRCO
Mark studied music as Organ Scholar at Downing College, University of Cambridge, where he conducted the Chapel Choir, and also studied organ and choral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. He was also Organ Scholar at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace and Canterbury Cathedral, before returning to Scotland to undertake teacher training. Mark has played for broadcasts on BBC Radio, for several recordings and has accompanied choirs and given solo recitals in major cathedrals and chapels across the UK. He is also a regular recitalist at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Mark has a passion for liturgical music and has been Organist and Choirmaster at St Bride’s since 2011.
Assistant Organist and Choirmaster – Dr Stuart Campbell MA BMus PhD FRCO ARCM
Stuart graduated in Russian and Music at the University of Edinburgh and gained his PhD at the University of Glasgow. He holds the diplomas of Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and Associate of the Royal College of Music, and has been Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at St Bride’s since 2001.
In Edinburgh he studied organ with Alexander Anderson, Herrick Bunney and W. O. Minay, and on summer courses abroad with Fernando Germani and Michel Chapuis. Stuart was organist and choirmaster at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh from 1971-75 and then University Organist, Director of Chapel Music and Music Lecturer at the University of Glasgow from 1975-2000. In the JS Bach tricentenary season 1985-86, he performed a cycle of the complete organ works of JS Bach using the instruments in St Bride’s, Lylesland Parish Church and Glasgow University Concert Hall. With Svetlana Zvereva, he is joint musical director of the chamber choir Russkaya Cappella, based in Glasgow.
Stuart is a part-time tutor in music-historical subjects at the extra-mural departments of the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Cambridge University Press published his two-volume anthology of criticism (Russians on Russian Music) in 1994 and 2003. He contributed entries on Russian topics to the multi-volume New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition), and to Die neue Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Stuart’s current research topics are centred on Rachmaninoff, Sviridov and Stravinsky.
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