St James’ Music

Music has been performed at St James’ since the convict era. Today there are many options available to the people of Sydney and visitors from farther afield to experience music in Sydney’s oldest church building including Concerts and Recitals, free Lunchtime Concerts, Cantata Services and Church Services.

Our resident musicians are The Choir of St James‘, The St James’ Singers, and BachBand@StJames, and are directed and supported by our Head of Music, Organist, and Organ Scholar. Subscribe to our YouTube channel (sjksmusic) to listen and watch The Choir of St James’ in performance.

For many years St James’, King Street, has been at the centre of Sydney’s musical life, and never has that been more true than it is now, under the Choir’s inspiring director, Warren Trevelyan-Jones.  Coming from London I was astonished by the vitality and impeccable professionalism of the performances. May this very high standard continue for many years more.”

Peter Phillips, founder and director of The Tallis Scholars

The Choir of St James’

The Choir of St James’, King Street, Sydney is one of the oldest musical establishments in Australia, and is linked to the earliest days of the colony of New South Wales. Indeed, some of its early members were convicts. For much of its almost two hundred years of ministry the Choir has been regarded as one of Australia’s foremost Anglican choirs.

This has continued to the present day where the Choir consists of around a dozen professional adult singers, and who are an eclectic mix of instrumentalists, vocal soloists, teachers, jazz musicians, composers, artistic administrators, musical theatre performers and lawyers. The Choir itself maintains a regular schedule of weekly choral services including Wednesday evensong and Sunday Choral Eucharist, as well as special services (weddings, funerals, state funerals and memorials) and recordings, broadcasts and interstate and overseas tours. It has become known and highly regarded for its artistically outstanding performances, from small choral pieces to large-scale choral and orchestral works and new Australian works. The Choir presents an annual series of three Orchestral Masses in January, a Concert Series of six concerts throughout the year, and a Bach Cantata series with BachBand@St James’, where, four times a year, a Cantata by J.S. Bach is performed in a liturgical setting, modelled on the Lutheran Service of Vespers.

The Choir enjoys regular collaborations with international groups such as The Tallis Scholars, The King’s Singers, The Gabrieli Consort, and works with Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Baroque Brass, The Australian Haydn Ensemble, and soloists Yvonne Kenny, Greta Bradman and Teddy Tahu Rhodes.

The Choir of St James’ made its debut at City Recital Hall in April 2017, performing J.S. Bach’s St John Passion, returning in 2018 to perform Handel’s Messiah with BachBand@St James’. In both 2017 and 2018, it travelled to Gallipoli to sing at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, and in 2018 performed to critical acclaim at the Coriole Music Festival in Adelaide, and in Hobart at Festival of Voices .

The St James’ Singers

The St James’ Singers are a voluntary choir that lead the singing at the 9:00am Parish Eucharist on a fortnightly basis, singing the psalm and communion motet. The St James’ Singers are the second choir of the parish, formed in 2010 to offer parishioners and others with an interest in choral singing an opportunity to learn liturgical repertoire and gain experience in leading services. The Singers lead the 9:00am service on alternate Sundays.

If you miss singing in a choir, used to sing in a choir, have past experiences in choral singing or are new to choral music and want to learn about choral singing within a liturgical context, this is the perfect opportunity for you! If you would like to audition, please email Alistair Nelson at organist@www.sjks.org.au

BachBand@StJames’

BachBand@StJames’ is one of Sydney’s newest Baroque ensembles, whose membership comprises the most sought-after Baroque instrumentalists in the city. It performs regularly with The Choir of St James’ in concerts and services, such as the Cantata Series, where Cantatas by J. S. Bach are performed liturgically in the Lutheran style.

Warren Trevelyan-Jones
Warren Trevelyan-JonesHead of Music
Warren Trevelyan-Jones was appointed Head of Music at St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney in 2008, and is regarded as one of the leading choral conductors and choir trainers in Australia. He began his singing career as a Choral Scholar and Lay Clerk in Exeter Cathedral Choir, graduating in music at the University in 1988. In 1993, he qualified as a music therapist at Bristol University and became a Lay Clerk in Winchester Cathedral Choir, combining freelance singing with work in music therapy. Warren has had an extensive singing career as a soloist and ensemble singer in Europe, including nine years in the Choir of Westminster Abbey, and regular work with the Gabrieli Consort, Collegium Vocale (Ghent), the Taverner Consort, The Kings Consort, Dunedin Consort, The Sixteen and the Tallis Scholars. He has appeared on over 60 CD recordings, numerous television and radio broadcasts, and in many of the world’s leading music festivals and concert halls.

Warren founded the Gramophone award-winning group Ensemble Plus Ultra with Dr Michael Noone in 2001. In 2008 he founded The Consort of Melbourne with Peter Tregear, and has directed them in a series of concerts at the new Melbourne Recital Centre and for Music Viva Australia.
In September 2017, Warren was appointed Chorus Master of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Alistair Nelson
Alistair NelsonOrganist
Alistair Nelson is the Organist of St James’ Church, King Street, where he is responsible for all liturgical organ playing, performs regularly in the lunchtime and Subscription Concert series, and directs The St James’ Singers.
Alistair began his organ studies at Trinity Grammar, was as Organ Scholar at St Anne’s, Strathfield, and St Paul’s, Burwood, and was Assistant Organist at Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney, featuring on their CD What sweeter music.
Alistair received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Sydney, graduating with First Class Honours, and holds a Master Music degree from Yale University—for which he studied on full scholarship—and was awarded the Mary Baker Scholarship in Organ Accompaniment. Whilst at Yale, Alistair was Organ Scholar and Interim Organist at Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut. Following this, he spent four years as Associate Organist and Choirmaster at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, New York, where he directed the Girls’ Choir and Schola Cantorum, assisted with and accompanied the Choir of Men and Boys, and featured on the CD In praises of the child. He also served on the staff of the Montreal Boys’ Choir course.
Titus Grenyer
Titus GrenyerOrgan Scholar
Titus Grenyer is the current Organ Scholar at St James’ King Street, and Organist at St Andrew’s College within the University of Sydney. Beginning with violin and piano and supplemented with music composition and theory lessons, he moved to the organ in 2013 when he was awarded the inaugural IMB Roger Soden Organ Scholarship at Wollongong Conservatorium, and thereafter decided to pursue organ as his main instrument. In 2016, he began a Bachelor of Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Organ Studies, and in the same year was awarded an Organ LMusA with distinction. Since that time, he has travelled through various countries playing organs, including attending and performing in the Haarlem International Organ Festival in 2018.
Titus is currently midway through a research Honours programme, where he is researching the musical life of Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-14).
Whilst an organist by trade, Titus’ musical interests are eclectic, including a love of Victorian music-hall, Renaissance polyphony and Balinese gamelan. He hopes for a collaborative future for music and for society.