THE HISTORY OF MEN & BOYS CHOIRS is, in many ways, the history of the Anglican Church. Originally, women were not in choirs because choristers were a minor clerical order from which women were excluded. As the centuries passed, the sense of such choirs being an honored tradition took over as the technical prohibitions against women singing in the choirs became, thankfully, unimportant.
In this country (particularly in the Episcopal Church), vested male choirs became more and more the norm as the nineteenth century came to an end, and the zenith of the tradition was probably in the 1920’s and 30’s. Nowadays, such choirs are increasingly viewed as anachronistic and, perhaps more importantly, socially indefensible. And yet so much of the music written for the Anglican communion over the centuries was written with this type of choir in mind, and still sounds best when sung by such a group.
Many churches cannot support a choir of men & boys, and many others would ﬁnd such a choir an affectation. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the tradition will never die out completely, and that the great music of the Church will continue to be sung by that sort of choir for which so much of it was originally intended.
Continuing the Anglican tradition, Saint Stephen’s is proud to have this talented Choir of Men and Boys performing traditional Anglican music under the direction of Choirmaster Adric. The choir sings Choral Eucharist at the 9.15am service on the First Sunday of the month, and Choral Mattins at the 11.15am service all other Sundays (September through June, or as announced).
In addition to regular Sunday services, the choir presents Choral Evensong
at 6.00pm on the First Sunday of the month throughout the year, including summer. The Choir also presents a Service of Lessons and Carols
for Advent Sunday, and a Festival of Lessons and Carols
on the First Sunday after Epiphany (in lieu of the January evensong.)