The Choir

Choral Scholars March 2024


The Choir of St Bride’s welcomes new Members. If you have reasonable sight-reading skills (or wish to develop your skills) and are keen to sing a variety of sacred music week by week, we should be delighted to hear from you. There are also opportunities for guest choristers who are unable to undertake a regular Sunday morning commitment.  Choral Scholarships may also be available for singers under the age of 25 and/or in full-time education.

Please e-mail our Director of Music, Alan Tavener, at

Details of our Choral Scholars for 2023-2024 can be found here.

A Little About The Choir

There has always been a strong musical tradition at St Bride's, and choral music is a vital and valued part of the life of our church. Our services involve the singing of a Mass setting every Sunday, together with motets that reflect the seasons of the church year. Hymns, psalms and various shorter liturgical items are also important parts of our services. The choir is a friendly, dedicated and talented group of voluntary singers. Singers come from a range of backgrounds and are drawn together by a love of singing sacred music in its liturgical context.

What do we sing?

We sing at the Choral Eucharist every Sunday and for a service of Choral Evensong and Benediction on the third Sunday of every month (except during July and August). As well as the popular carol services at Advent and Christmas, we sing for weekday services such as Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday. Our repertoire covers Renaissance Masses and motets by Byrd and Palestrina to Viennese Masses by Mozart and Haydn and more modern settings by Darke and MacMillan. Our liturgy also involves the singing of plainsong and Anglican chant week by week. 

As well as singing the Sunday morning Mass settings, Psalms (generally to Anglican chant) and motets, the choir of St Bride's is one of very few choirs to sing the weekly Mass Propers for the Liturgical Year from the English Gradual (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia/Tract, Offertory and Communion). These are settings of the Psalms and other texts from the Scriptures, using beautiful plainsong. A cantor and the choir take turns to sing the various parts of the text, in a responsorial style. This runs as a thread through the Choral Eucharist every Sunday morning, and provides a meditative backdrop to our worship.

In June 2018 the choir was joined by the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir to sing for BBC Radio Four Sunday Worship, which came live from St Bride's. It is hoped that this will lead to more broadcasting opportunities for St Bride's and the choir in the future!


We are always delighted to hear from people who are interested in joining our Choir and contributing to our wonderful musical tradition, so please feel most welcome to introduce yourself if you would like to know more!  The Director of Music is generally available  after Sunday morning services to talk more about singing at St Bride's,  or can be emailed at

Choral Scholarships

St Bride’s offers excellent development opportunities in choral singing and general musicianship.  Choral Scholarships to the value of £800 per annum are available for those under the age of 25 and/or in full-time education, and Junior Choral Scholarships to the value of £400 per annum are available for school pupils, offering an ideal preparation for a university choral scholarship or further musical study. Opportunities are also available for those who wish to develop their organ playing or conducting skills within the context of the liturgy.

Further details of the Choral Scholarships, are available from Alan Tavener: (

Our Director of Music

Director of Music - Alan Tavener BEM, MA (Oxon), MSc, ARCO, ARCM, ARSCM

Alan joined St Bride's in 2019 from Jordanhill Parish Church, where he was Director of Music since moving to Scotland in 1980.

He is a music graduate of the University of Oxford (where he was Heberden Organ Scholar at Brasenose College and when he gained diplomas in organ performance and teaching) and an educational research graduate of the University Strathclyde (where he focussed on the social, educational and health benefits of singing), where he was also Director of Music with responsibility for teaching, the promotion of a professional concerts series, and the direction of a wide range of student choirs, orchestras and ensembles, including Strathclyde University Chamber Choir [] which he continues to direct, and which has toured many times in Europe and further afield, has undertaken recorded and live radio broadcasts, and has released a CD of Romantic Scottish part-songs.

As co-founder and Director of Cappella Nova [], Alan has made 15 CDs, all world premiere recordings, and directed the premieres of more than 60 commissioned pieces including major works by Sir John Tavener, James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik and Gabriel Jackson. As well as directing Cappella Nova on stage and leading singing workshops for established choirs and other organisations.  In recognition of his ground-breaking work in Scottish early choral music, in 2008 Alan was invited to direct a master-class for postgraduate choral conductors at the Moscow Conservatoire, since when he has mentored Apprentice Conductors for the Association of British Choral Directors, and led sessions at the Association’s annual Convention.  In 2011 he presented a paper on the holistic benefits of group-singing activities at the annual Making Music Conference.

Alan is also Director of Cappella Nova Outreach which offers a wide range of accessible group-singing opportunities for anyone from beginner upwards through collaborating with Strathclyde University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, for whom he led a participative session at its 25th anniversary event ‘Celebrating Silver’, and leading the Scottish Plainsong Choir: a community project which explores liturgical music in historic venues and which regularly appears as a ‘backing group’ with Canty and Cappella Nova.  In 2015 he was awarded the honorary Associateship of the Royal School of Church Music for his “considerable contribution to church music in Scotland, particularly in his ecumenical approach and, in the 2020 New Year Honours List, the BEM for “services to choral music in Scotland”.

St Bride's Choir in 1917