Music

A high standard of music has been an integral part of the worship at St Mark’s since its earliest years.  Led by Michael Bowden assisted by Gabriel Harley, you can find here details of the musicians and organs.

For the current Music List, please click

Music List

To hear recordings of the Choir and Organ, please click here

Every year during June a Music Festival has been established.  In the past we have had a number of choirs visit to sing Choral Evensong on Sundays and had various concerts with refreshments available from St Mark’s Cafe.  There is usually a gala concert in addition, given by The Regent’s Consort (see below).  In the case of organ recitals, a live stream of the player is projected onto a large screen.

For details of the 2023 Festival programme, please see the poster below, and to receive regular updates about future musical events at St Mark’s please scroll down to our subscription details:

Whilst the Choir is on vacation in July and August, visiting groups can be heard from time to time, including the chamber choir Antiphon, and enquiries are always welcome from interested musicians. The church is a popular venue for concerts of all types, and large-scale orchestral and choral concerts from outside groups can often be heard.   Information about hire can be obtained from the Parish Clerk and informal visits to view are welcomed.

The Choir of St Mark’s, Regent’s Park

The professional choir of St Mark’s sings on Sundays, during Holy Week, and at the major festivals. Consisting of between eight and ten professional singers and choral scholars, there are some 50 mass settings in the repertoire.

Wide-ranging in style they cover all the main musical periods from the winding counterpoint of the 16th century through to the richer harmonic language of the 21st.

The Plainchant propers in their ornate form grace the services at the Introit, Gradual/Alleluya and Communion, and a motet is sung during the post-communion.

 

 

The St Mark’s Consort and Players

Seen here in rehearsals and concerts, The St Mark’s Consort is the larger, semi-professional, ensemble attached to St Mark’s.  Formed principally to mount a bigger concert in the June Festival, usually with orchestral accompaniment, the Consort can be heard at other times in the year at select events.

Michael Bowden, Director of Music

Michael Bowden gained a bursary to study organ and became a Licentiate of Trinity College, London in Organ Performance whilst still at school before going on to graduate from the Royal College of Music where he also became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music.  His early career saw him successively as Assistant Organist of St Mary’s Bourne Street, All Saints’ Margaret Street and The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy and after nearly twenty years in education, he returned to his church music roots when invited to become Director of Music at St Mark’s in 2009.  As Musical Director of Islington Choral Society from 1991 – 2017, Michael Bowden conducted its members in major works in more than sixty concerts, including tours to Paris, Bruges, Budapest, Normandy, Spain and the Czech Republic.  He is a member of the panel of examiners for the Royal Schools of Music for whom he has examined in Hong Kong,  Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore as well as throughout the UK, and has also served on the Board of Directors of the International Organ Festival at St Alban’s whilst managing the biennial Festival and Competition.

Gabriel Harley, Assistant Director of Music and Organist

Gabriel learnt the piano from a young age and began organ lessons with Gerard Brooks whilst a Music Scholar at Latymer Upper School. During his time at school he achieved Distinctions in ABRSM Grade 8 examinations in piano, organ and clarinet and in his final year was Organ Scholar at St. Anne’s Church in Kew. On leaving school he gained an organ scholarship at Christ’s College, Cambridge from 2015 – 2018 and alongside a place to read Music he continued his organ studies for two years with Gordon Stewart (until his retirement) and then with Margaret Phillips. Whilst at Cambridge Gabriel received the Canon Greville Cook Exhibition Prize and Levy-Plumb Exhibition Prize for academic achievement. His chief duties as Organ Scholar entailed the accompaniment and occasional direction and rehearsal of Christ College Chapel Choir for two Choral Evensongs a week, as well as on international tours to Australia, Canada and the United States.  In addition he served as Secretary of Christ’s College Music Society.

Dominic Wong, Honorary Assistant Director of Music and Organist

Dominic began learning the piano at the age of three. He received the Licentiate of Trinity College, London diploma in piano performance with distinction at the age of thirteen, before moving to the UK to study at Harrow School. At Harrow, he continued his piano studies with Colin Stone and started learning the organ with David Woodcock. Upon leaving school, Dominic spent a year as the Organ Scholar of St Mary’s, Nottingham, where he studied with John Keys. He performed alongside Mervyn Cooke Mozart’s Double Piano Concerto with the Restoration Orchestra. He also worked with Paul Hale regularly as the accompanist of the Nottingham Bach Choir. Dominic then became the Organ Scholar of Downing College, Cambridge, where he read law. He continued his organ studies with James McVinnie and became an Associate of the Royal College of Organists. In addition, he also held other responsibilities whilst at Cambridge, including being the Director of Music of Fisher House (the Catholic chaplaincy of the university), the principal répétiteur of the Cambridge Opera Society, and the acting Organ Scholar of Selwyn College.

James Borrie, Organ Scholar

James Borrie lives in north west London and is studying for his A levels. He has played the piano and violin from a young age and more recently started organ lessons. He loves the sound and variety of the organ and is very excited to have the opportunity to learn at St Mark’s.  He also enjoys composing and improvising.

 

Organs

For details and image of the 1763 Italian Organ please click here
For details, specification and pictures of the three-manual, 1957 Walker Organ please click here

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Choir Resources

To download an invoice form click

Choral Invoice

then choose download and excel file from the dropdown menu under files to save to your computer.  Please do not edit the online document.

To see the current singing rota click

Choir Rota Jan – Apr 2024