Since the time of its consecration more than 130 years ago, Saint Bartholomew’s Church in Dublin has maintained a tradition of choral services, and remains one of the few churches in Ireland that continues to do so. The gentlemen and boys sing at the 11:00am Sung Eucharist each Sunday, as well as on major festivals throughout the Church year. In addition, a choir of girl choristers was inaugurated in 2003, singing Evensong every second Sunday. The choir’s repertoire is fully representative of the major styles of choral music from the sixteenth century up to the present day.
In recent years, the activities of the choir have expanded to include regular concert appearances. The boy choristers have sung many times in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, where their performances have included the War Requiem of Benjamin Britten and J.S.Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion.
The boys and gentlemen have made numerous trips to England to sing in the cathedral churches of Ripon, Hereford, Exeter, Lichfield, Worcester, Gloucester, Chester, and Llandaff. The choir has also made two trips to France, in 1998 and 2004, performing in venues such as Chartres Cathedral and the Parisian church of La Madeleine.
The girls choir made their first international tour to Venice in 2010. They have also sung in Cashel Cathedral and in Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork.
Commitments to the choir
Boy choristers attend on Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm-8:15pm, Friday evenings from 6:45pm-8:15pm, and Sunday mornings from 10:00am-12:15pm. Girl choristers attend on Wednesday evenings from 5:00pm-6:45pm, and on every second Sunday from 5:00pm-7:00pm. The Gentlemen of the choir attend on Friday evenings from 7:15pm-8:15pm, Sunday mornings from 10:15am-12:15pm, and Sunday evenings from 5:15pm-7:45pm.
All practices are normally suspended during July and August.
Regular attendance is essential to maintain standards, and membership of the choir is undertaken on the understanding of this commitment. The reputation of the choir can only be maintained with the maximum support of each of its members. Having said that, consideration is given to family commitments such as holidays which might interfere with normal attendance.