The Saint James's Singers
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About the Saint James’s Singers
Julian Harris formed the St James’s Singers in 1985 when he was organist and choirmaster at St James’s Church, Alveston in Warwickshire. Since then, the choir has grown in size and stature to become one of the area’s leading ensembles. Over the last thirty years they have passed every major choral milestone from Bach’s St John Passion to Beethoven’s Choral Symphony. They have worked with many leading internationally established stars including Catherine Bott and Ian Partridge, and have worked with young soloists who have gone on to achieve worldwide recognition such as soprano, Carolyn Sampson, and tenor, Andrew Kennedy. The choir regularly performs in the Collegiate Church of Saint Mary in Warwick and in other local towns including Chipping Campden, Stratford-upon-Avon and Royal Leamington Spa.
The Duruflé Requiem and Poulenc Gloria opened the 2019 season in April. In October they present a varied concert with works by Purcell, Charpentier and Vivaldi. The season will end with the traditional Christmas concert of festive music and readings at St Mary’s Church, Warwick, on Saturday, 21 December.
The St James’s Singers always use the full orchestral accompaniment in all works and, where appropriate, use the authentic instruments.
The choir has members of all ages, and subscriptions are waived for those who are students or who are in full time education. Although the choir is based in Warwickshire, choir membership is drawn from London, Bristol, and from the South Coast to Birmingham and Coventry. The choir rehearses at St James’s Church, Alveston, on alternating Thursdays and Fridays. The current rehearsal schedule is published on the Members’ Page. The choir also performs at Weddings and private functions.
Julian Harris has had a long and varied career embracing work at the R.S.C. and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He has played and conducted all over Europe including Saint Peter’s in Rome, and has played Vivaldi on Vivaldi’s organ in the Pieta in Venice. He has conducted in the country’s major halls, including the Queen Elizabeth and Cadogan Halls in London, Symphony Hall in Birmingham and the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
Julian is increasingly in demand in the Midlands and in London as a conductor, composer, arranger, accompanist and teacher. He has conducted the Saint James’s Singers in Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral as part of their 30th Anniversary celebrations.
He currently conducts 3 choirs; 2 under his ‘Saint James’s Singers’ banner and the Banbury Choral Society. He teaches A-level/GCSE, theory, piano and singing as well as the Kodaly Method. His former students are enjoying success in spheres as wide as the National Youth Orchestra, the Royal Welsh Conservatiore of Music and Lincoln Cathedral. Former students have also won choral scholarships at Oxbridge Colleges.
In 2016 he played in Johannesburg and conducted at Winchester Cathedral.
Most recently he has conducted Choral Evensong in Westminster Abbey.