Worship at All Saints' is enhanced by a traditional robed four-part choir. The choir, under its director, David Butler, and junior choir director, Rebecca Bell, sings a wide repertoire, including music from the Tudor period to the present day.
Choir practice is held on Thursday evenings, the adults using the Parish Room from 7.30pm, whilst the younger members rehearse from 7.15pm at Mrs Bell's home. Occasional joint rehearsals are held.
The choir attends the annual RSCM Oxfordshire Festival and the Henley Choir Festival. The adult choir sings at morning and evening services (except Peppard Praise on the third Sunday). The junior choir sings at three Sunday morning services, plus the benefice services when held.
David Butler BA(Hons), MA, Dip. Mus.(OU)- Organist and Director of Music - 0118 9724065
David was appointed as organist and director of music at All Saints' Church in March 2011. Church music has been a passion for David since the age of 8 when he joined a substantial church choir of 40 boys and 30 men. Organ lessons at 14 started his lifelong interest in organs (his MA is in Organ Historiography). His first appointment as organist was at the age of 21 in London. Various business moves over the ensuing years brought appointments at many other churches.
His philosophy is simple - to provide music which is fit for purpose.
Rebecca Bell DipABRSM, LRSM(perf) - Junior Choir Director - 0118 9722967
Rebecca has been in charge of the All Saints' Junior Choir since 2001.
Rebecca has an immensly successful track record for having developed the choir numbers from five to a steady 12 - 14 members year after year.
This work has been challenging but very rewarding. Throughout her term as junior choir director, Rebecca has coached youngsters ranging in age from 6 to 18.
The junior choir plays an important and essential part in the worship at All Saints. Each year they sing at choir festivals and courses. Many achieve their RSCM Voice For Life bronze, silver and gold medals.
Rebecca says that training young people is fun, and watching how much they gain from working as a disciplined team is even better. If your youngsters would like to join the junior choir to develop their singing skills and be part of a 'winning team' please contact Rebecca.
The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Voice for Life scheme provides a framework for choral singers to develop their vocal skills, musical understanding, and their knowledge of repertoire. At All Saints' for seniors and experienced juniors, there are externally examined awards of Bronze, Silver and Gold worn on green, purple and maroon ribbons respectively, as well as opportunities to attend singing courses and workshops.
For more information about the RSCM Voice For Life Scheme please click on the link : RSCM Voice For Life Scheme
Singing is good for you - why not join the All Saints' choir?
There is a lot of research which shows that singing, particularly choral singing, can deliver tremendous benefits for mental and physical well-being.
Here are a few for you to consider:
Feelings of togetherness - singing in a choir brings satisfaction from being part of a collective endeavour and a strong sense of togetherness.
Regulation of heart rate - research has shown a link between the melody of music, group singing, to the movement up and down of pulse rates. Reducing the variability of the heart rate has a positive impact on general health. Also, choral singing can temper the nerves responsible for emotions and communication thus strengthening feelings of co-operation.
Reduced stress levels and depression - group singing has been shown to confer mental health benefits. Oxytocin levels can be boosted which help to control stress and anxiety.
Improved social well-being - studies of choral singing have evidenced a higher rate of social well-being compared to solo singers. That is not to say that other group activities e.g. team sports, don't have the same effect - however, group singing is easy to do as a group, especially if an experienced and caring trainer leads the group.
Singing works for all - many people are reluctant to join a singing group, considering themselves not good enough. That's no excuse, whatever the level of singing, emotional, social and cognitive benefits result so everyone gets a prize for just taking part.