Fellowship through music
The Church Choir
The Choir is a lively and enthusiastic group who participate in all the 9:30am Sunday services, as well as monthly Choral Evensong Services, all the major festivals and, by arrangement, at weddings and funerals.
In the past few years we have also put on concerts. We have joined with our neighbouring churches in a production of Roger Jones' "Jerusalem Joy", and there has been a performance of "The Crucifixion" by John Stainer and a Junior Choir Charity Concert featuring music by Abba and songs from "The Lion King".
In August 2022 we made a return visit to Christchurch Cathedral Oxford to sing services for a weekend while the Cathedral Choir was away for the summer break.
Christmas fixtures include not just our fabulous Carol Service but also pub and street carol singing.
Rehearsals are held on Thursdays in church, Juniors (aged 8 to 16) from 7:00pm until 8:00pm and adults (aged 16 to 90ish) from 7:30pm until 9:00pm. We are always happy to welcome new singers! Come and join in!
Please contact the Parish Office in the first instance to be put in touch with our Choir Director, Karen Phillips.
For our policy on Safeguarding and Child Protection see the Safeguarding Page
Karen Phillips – Director of Music
Choral music has always been Karen’s passion, probably dating back to her studies in this specialised area with Andrew Parrott and Dame Emma Kirkby during her time at Reading University. Karen has conducted choirs in the Cathedrals of Westminster, Salisbury and Bristol and in St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, but her tastes in music are varied. She has sung professionally, recording sound-tracks for films including ‘The Saint’ and ‘Stargate’, and has enjoyed recording backing tracks for rock bands. Having ‘retired’ from full-time music teaching, she now directs the South Berkshire Singers and the Cecilia Singers as well as the Church Choir.
Jane Palmer – Organist.
As the daughter of a professional musician father and a singing mother, Jane found it hard to avoid studying Music, which she did to degree level. After Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, though, it became clear that she would not be able to pursue her first choice career of choral singing, she diverted into teaching. Over the next few decades she held Director of Music posts in several schools, usually combining this with Church music work. More recently, she has concentrated on organ playing and accompanying various choirs. She is particularly enjoying contributing to the high-quality, diverse music at St. Michael's.
The Bell ringers are an enthusiastic band of people, of age range 12 to 70+ years, who ring on Sundays for the 9:30 a.m. and Evensong services and special occasions. They meet in the bell tower on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. for practice. A warm welcome is extended to anyone who would like to come and learn this ancient art.
St Michael's Belles are a team of 10 ringers who rehearse on Thursday evenings in term time at the Pastoral Centre.
We ring before the Christmas Eve Carol Service and other Church Festivals if available. We have also staged concerts jointly with the choir and Camberley Brass Band.
In addition to the main team, we have now established a new group “Blossoming Bells” for both children and adults wishing to learn to ring musical handbells.
Our normal outreach work includes ringing at local care homes, for youth groups and local organisations such as the WI and Towns Women's Guild. We also run a monthly workshop for residents at a local nursing home who suffer with dementia.
New members are welcome. The ability to read music is an advantage but not a necessity. Please contact the Parish Office, who will forward your enquiry.