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 sing once a month at the 10am Choral Eucharist and 6:16pm Wednesday Choral Evensong. 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.
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 Warren Trevelyan-Jones at music(at)sjks.org.au or email Marko Sever at marko.sever(at)sjks.org.au or
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.