The original building and site of St Patrick’s came with an already illustrious musical heritage. Under the stewardship of Madame Teresa Cornelys (an opera singer who was born in Venice), the leading musicians of the capital played at her Assembly Rooms and singers, players and composers visiting from Europe, including JC Bach, were anxious to secure an engagement.
When the building was converted into ‘St Patrick’s Chapel’, the heritage was built upon. A fine organ built by the Gray brothers was installed in 1793 and the organist and world-leading music publisher Vincent Novello was one of the first to hold the role at the new church.
This fine professional heritage was the inspiration when, in 2011, we formed the professional Choir which first sang at the re-dedication of the church after that restoration. The Choir at St Patrick’s is normally a quintet, drawn from a pool of around a dozen regular members. We are fortunate – and it is rare for a parish church -to have such a choir. Members include, for example, singers who were or are still in St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, Washington National Cathedral, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal.
The Roman Catholic heritage of polyphony and chant is at the heart of our choral worship, and we believe it amplifies and augments the liturgy. From the Renaissance, the beauty of devout composers such as William Byrd and Tomas Luis de Victoria, through to the devout Romanticism of Bruckner and Liszt, right up to Modern music by composers such as John Tavener and Sir James Macmillan, we try to make our music to the highest possible standard, to the Greater Glory of God.
At St Patrick’s, we invest in professional musicians because we know that, together, beautiful liturgy and musical worship are powerful ways in which people encounter God. Can you financially support our music?