Choirs & Ensembles


Choirs & Ensembles

Music ministry at St. Bartholomew’s is well known throughout the diocese for offering a rich tapestry of sacred music. A love of music-making and a willingness to learn are all that is required for most ministries. All ensembles for children and adults teach and reinforce the ability to read music and other singing and listening skills as well as an understanding of leading liturgy and congregational song.

For more information on becoming part of music ministry at St. Bart’s, please contact John-Luke Addison, Director Music, Principal Organist at (858) 432-7112.

The Parish Choir is open to all adults, young and older, high school aged and above. The Choir rehearses Thursdays 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. and sings at the Sunday 10:15 a.m. service and often at Evensong the first Sunday of each month. The Choir sings larger works and other services according to the season, including an All Saints’ Day requiem, Advent Lessons and Carols, and a Lenten Meditation on the Passion, among others. Opportunities are also available within the choir for those interested in more advanced and smaller ensemble work.

Choristers are young people, third grade through high school, learning to sing and expanding their musical skills in individual and group instruction. All are welcome, regardless of music background. 

Highlights include:

  • free, individualized small-group instruction on singing, music theory, and musicianship skills, following the Royal School of Church Music Voice for Life learning program, adapted for St. Bart’s;
  • singing in church the first and third Sundays of the month, including the Advent Service of Lessons and Carols in December and other special concerts;
  • staging an annual Spring dramatic production (NEW!)
  • fun group outings.

Junior Chorister rehearsals (ages 7-12), including snack, are Sundays following the 10:15 a.m. liturgy, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Thursdays, 4:30-5:15 p.m.

Intermediate Chorister rehearsals (ages 13-18), including snack, are Sundays 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Thursdays, 5:15-6:30 p.m

Choral and Organ Scholars are auditioned musicians of high school or college age interested in more advanced singing, accompanying, and/or serving as cantors in church and helping to lead younger Choristers. They may sing with the Parish Choir as well. Stipends are available. 

Cantors help lead congregational singing and sing psalms and other service music at all weekend liturgies. A willingness to lead sung prayer and confidence in one’s own singing are sustained and developed in this ministry, open to all ages. Cantors rehearse Thursdays 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. twice per month or as needed for special occasions.

The Women’s Schola sings chant, both ancient and contemporary, as well as other service music in a small ensemble setting. The Schola is one of a few choirs in the country that sing Gregorian chant according to 11th-century neumes of the St. Gall and Metz monasteries. Come learn with us how to sing them and why they’re important — no prior experience necessary! The Schola, often for those interested in a less regular (or another!) Sunday singing commitment, rehearses Wednesdays 6:00-6:45 p.m. and sings at one Sunday 8:00 a.m. service each month.

The Handbell Choir provides distinctive sounds and liturgical accompaniment to psalms, service music, and hymns appropriate to the season. It rehearses Monday evenings 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. and plays at one Sunday service each month. Ability to read music is helpful. Come learn how to ring!

Instrumentalists of all types play as solo and accompanying instruments and in ensemble.

  • Our “strings-plus” ensemble of a string quartet plus other instruments rehearses Wednesdays 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. and plays at one Sunday 10:15 a.m. service each month and other special occasions.
  • Guitars help lead prelude Gathering Music and other service music at the Sunday, 10:15 a.m. liturgy
  • Other instruments play solo melodies and descants throughout the year.

Musicianship classes (learning to read music; music theory; learn and improve sight-reading and listening skills) are offered approximately one Saturday morning or weekday evening per month. Classes can be geared toward different skill levels and age groups, guided by interest.


Support musical events at St. Bart’s!

Interested in supporting music at St. Bart’s in other ways? Volunteer to serve on the Great Music Series Committee which meets twice per year to help brainstorm ideas for concerts and to staff front-of-house needs!

For more information on supporting or becoming part of music ministry at St. Bart’s, please contact John-Luke Addison, Director Music, Principal Organist at (858) 432-7112.