About Us

The Choir

The Saint John Singers is a group of accomplished and committed amateur singers which leads the musical worship at some of our country’s most beautiful cathedrals, minsters, and abbeys, as a visiting choir whilst the resident choir is on holiday or otherwise engaged. We are incredibly fortunate to have Jeremy Jackman as our Musical Director. The choir undertakes three or four cathedral visits per year during the holiday periods Easter, May, summer and October. The choir also holds one or two Workshops/Training Days per year, open to all, which offer the opportunity to gain help, encouragement and advice on effective breathing, vocal production and stamina and guidance on developing reading and listening skills. Further Information

Rehearsals

During the weeks leading up to a cathedral visit the choir usually rehearses four times, on alternating Thursdays and Fridays, at St John the Baptist Church, Windlesham, Surrey. The music is sent out to the singers well in advance and the choir is expected to familiarise themselves with the scores so that rehearsals can be focussed on performance rather than note bashing. Our upcoming schedule of visits and rehearsals can be found here. The Saint John Singers welcomes new singers in all voice parts. Contact the Secretary if you would like to come along to a rehearsal.

History

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019, The Saint John Singers made its debut cathedral visit in 1989 under the direction of Ron Ferris. Ron was the Director of Music at St John the Baptist Church, Windlesham, where the choir still rehearses, and had been organist and tenor at St John's, Park, Swindon, hence the choir's name. During Ron's 23 year tenure the choir experienced many memorable occasions, including taking part in a service at Guildford Cathedral to mark the late Queen Mother's 100th birthday, and a special evensong at Worcester Cathedral on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Edward Elgar. From 2013 until 2021 the choir's Musical Director was Andrew Phillips and went from strength to strength under his leadership.

JOIN US

The Saint John Singers welcomes new singers in all voice parts. Contact the Secretary if you would be interested in coming along to a rehearsal.

Contact the Secretary

Events

Below you will find the details of upcoming cathedral visits and rehearsals (provisional). All rehearsals will take place at St John the Baptist, Windlesham from 7.30-9.30pm. Workshop/Training Day venues as detailed. You can also open and/or add a live calendar with all dates using either iCal or Google Calendar links.

Bristol Cathedral 1/2 June 2024

First Rehearsal - Thursday 25th April 2024

Second Rehearsal - Friday 10th May 2024

Third Rehearsal - Thursday 23rd May 2024

Chelmsford Cathedral 31 August/1 September 2024

First Rehearsal - Friday 12 July 2024

Second Rehearsal - Thursday 25 July 2024

Third Rehearsal - Friday 16 Auust 2024

Fourth Rehearsal - Thursday 22 August 2024

Peterborough Cathedral 15/16 February 2025

Rehearsals to be confirmed

Brecon Cathedral 30/31 August 2025

Rehearsals to be confirmed

Cathedral Visits Facts

A few statistics from the choir's 35 years of cathedral visits including a map showing all the cathedrals visited - click into a cathedral to see the date(s) visited and the music sung.

38

Cathedrals visited

159

Total visits

4.18

Visits per cathedral

313

Evensongs Sung

Gallery

A selection of photos from some of our most recent cathedral visits

  • All
  • St Albans
  • Bath Abbey
  • Portsmouth
  • Worcester
  • Rochester

St Albans

Descending from the Bridge

Bath Abbey

South Transept

Rochester

Rehearsal in the Nave

Rochester

Rehearsal in the Quire

Worcester

Rehearsing in the Nave

Rochester

Rehearsal in the Quire

Bath Abbey

Awaiting Evensong

Portsmouth

The Nave

Worcester

Processing to Evensong

Testimonials

Who's Who

Meet the people who make it all happen

Jeremy Jackman
Musical Director

Eila Savill
Chair

Eila Savill

Chair

Angela Clark
Secretary

Angela Clark

Secretary

Jeremy Jackman

Musical Director

Jeremy Jackman has been a member of The King’s Singers, Chorus Master of the London Philharmonic Choir, and was for 20 years the Musical Director of the English Baroque Choir. Along the way he has sung for the BBC Northern Singers and the Tallis Scholars, and conducted at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Festival Hall, St Mark’s Venice and St John’s Smith Square. He has worked with Julie Andrews, Placido Domingo and John Denver all at the same time, and once found himself (for TV) singing Christmas music on horseback at 8.30 am on a freezing cold morning beside a lake in Yorkshire – wearing a monk’s habit (don’t ask!).

But running like a golden thread through all of this is his love of – and immersion in – church music. ‘The trouble is, you can’t read,’ (he didn’t mean the music) said a young Barry Rose, telling Jeremy (aged 4¾) why he couldn’t immediately join the choir of St Andrew’s Kingsbury. The two years he did spend under Barry’s direction were seminal. His formative years thereafter consisted of one great musical experience after another; a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music, studying with Anthony Hedges (composition), and Paul Esswood and Mary Thomas (singing). Jeremy was a Lay Clerk at Westminster Cathedral (choirmaster, Stephen Cleobury) before joining The King’s Singers in 1980. With them he toured the world many times over, performing in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and making countless recordings and broadcasts.

On leaving the group in 1990 he founded Laudemus, a week-long Choral Evensong course in Dorset, England, in which the participants sing the office in a different church every day to different music. The course has now been running for more than 30 years. Jeremy’s compositions for church choirs include six settings of the Evening Canticles, five sets of Preces and Responses, introits, anthems, and a host of hymn arrangements and psalm chants. In early 2022 he was delighted to take up the post of Musical Director of the Saint John Singers.

www.jeremyjackman.co.uk

Contact Us

Usual Rehearsal Address

St John the Baptist Church, Church Road, Windlesham, GU20 6BL