• St Mary’s Choir visits Heidelberg and Neustadt (5/16/2019)

    The Choir of St Mary’s enjoyed a brief tour to the beautiful German towns of Heidelberg and Neustadt on the first weekend of May. They sung during Eucharist at Peterskirche in Heidelberg before performing a concert at Stiftskirche in Neustadt.

  • St Mary’s Choir Christmas CD 2017 (12/2/2017)

    The Choir of St Mary’s, directed by John Keys, is pleased to announce the launch of “A St Mary’s Christmas”, a new recording for 2017 featuring 20 beautiful choral pieces for the Christmas season.

    The CD includes something for everyone, ranging from “Jingle Bells” to “Silent Night” and including many popular classics, such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “Winter Wonderland” and “Carol of the Bells”. It also features world premieres of arrangements written by members of the choir.

    The recording, by Nottingham’s renowned choir of St Mary’s, is directed by John Keys, with Phillip Sherratt on organ, and is produced and engineered by Keith Halliday and Ben Davies.

    For your copy, please email


  • St Mary’s Choir to feature in new single (9/16/2016)

    Choristers from St Mary’s Church in Nottingham’s Lace Market feature on a new single by musical collective BE.

    BE – the musical collective behind the critically acclaimed album ONE, which was inspired by Wolfgang Butress’ installation The Hive at Kew Gardens – release a new single on Monday 19 September called Blue Lullaby.

    Released on the innovative Caught By the River’s  Rivertones label  Blue Lullaby was initially inspired by the melody and theme of the Coventry Carol and features choristers from St Mary’s Church, Nottingham.

    The single gets an exclusive airing on Mary Anne Hobbs’ show on BBC 6 Music  on Sunday 17 September and will be available for download on iTunes next week.

    Ten members of St Marys Choir recorded vocal parts which take their inspiration from idea of the ‘slaughter of the innocents’ – King Herod’s desire to massacre every male infant in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus – and the haunting melody of the 16th Century “Coventry Carol”. The melody has been substantially developed into a track which is now unique to BE.

    The collaboration between BE and St Mary’s Choir came about thanks to Wolfgang Buttress’ admiration for the quality of the church’s musicianship. Under the direction of John Keys (official organist for the City of Nottingham), the choir has developed a reputation as one of the finest adult parish church choirs in the region. It comprises a core group of local singers which is supplemented by choral scholars from Nottingham’s universities. A number of former choristers have gone on to music college and forged careers as professional singers. The choir is one of very few outside London to have been invited to sing Sunday services at St Paul’s Cathedral. In recent years it has toured Italy, and sung New Year’s Eve concerts in Germany.

    John Keys says: “Week in week out we perform music spanning 500 years of liturgical composition. So I was delighted when Wolfgang asked if we would consider being part of a new project. It’s a fantastic collaboration and demonstrates the depth of creativity in Nottingham and the willingness of people who take their creative inspiration from varying reference points to work together.”

    BE’s album One, which featured in The Guardians ‘Best Albums of 2016 so far’ in June, was inspired by Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress’ multi award-winning sculpture The Hive at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Such was its success, that BE were invited to perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. The new single builds on the immersive soundscape style which has won over audiences and critics alike.

    A live performance of One will be performed at St Mary’s Church, Nottingham on the 16th and 17th December 2016. This concert features the new single and St Mary’s Choir.

  • Former Choral Scholar wins Royal Academy Accolade (7/12/2016)

    bozidar smiljanicSt Mary’s Choir were delighted to hear that former choral scholar, Bozidar Smiljanic, has been awarded the prestigious “Principal’s Prize for all-round studentship” by the Royal Academy of Music.

    Following his time as a choral scholar at St Mary’s, Bozidar went on to be choral scholar at Lincoln Cathedral before being awarded a scholarship at the Royal Academy.

    Bozidar will be returning to St Mary’s to perform Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs at St Mary’s on 29th October 2016. Click here for more details.

    Go to to read more.

  • John Keys Appointed Nottingham City Organist (5/30/2016)

    St Mary’s Director of Music, John Keys, has been appointed to the honorary role of City Organist. John is the first organist to be appointed to the new role, a reflection of the value that city leaders place on his contribution to music in the city. The creation of the role follows other cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

    John was awarded the honour by the Lord Mayor following a recital on the Binns organ in Nottingham’s Albert Hall.

    Read the full story in the Nottingham Evening Post


  • New CD Launched by The Choir of St Mary’s (6/6/2015)

    The Choir of St Mary’s Church in Nottingham’s Lace Market, which is regarded as one of the finest parish church choirs in the country, has released a new recording of music dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

    Entitled ‘Mater Christi’ – Mother of Christ – the recording showcases a cross-section of some of the finest liturgical compositions of the late Renaissance period and of the last 150 years. It includes works by composers such as Lassus and Victoria from the 16th Century, through to 20th Century composers Rachmaninov and John Tavener, whose music shot to popularity following the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. The recording also features two world premiere recordings of pieces written for and dedicated to St Mary’s Choir by the distinguished Swiss organist Lionel Rogg, who also features on the disc as guest organist.

    Mater Christi CD cover

    St Mary’s Choir comprises adult volunteer singers together with Choral Scholars from Nottingham’s universities, who receive generous bursaries. The Choir sings three services a week; Wednesday Evensong, Sunday Eucharist and Sunday Evensong. It regularly gives concerts with the Orchestra of the Restoration, St Mary’s resident orchestra. In 2012 the Choir sang  at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, making such an impression that it had the rare honour of being invited to return in 2013 to sing a full week’s services, an opportunity usually reserved for professional ensembles when the cathedral’s choir is absent.  Recent tours have been undertaken to Germany, Italy and Ireland and the Choir enjoys a long term relationship with the choir of St Egidien in Nuremberg.

    The Choir has been led by John Keys for over 30 years following his appointment as director of Music at St Mary’s Church in 1984. John, a former organ scholar of New College Oxford, is an acclaimed international organist who regularly gives recitals throughout Europe and further afield. In 2013 he undertook a two month tour of Australia.

    The recording, produced by Regent Records, was made in the chapel of Worksop College in the summer of 2014. The hustle and bustle of the city centre location of St Mary’s Church is less conducive to recording compared to the remote rural location of Worksop College.

    John Keys, Director of Music, says: “This recording is a real showcase of the choir’s versatility and demonstrates how well it can apply itself to music spanning over 400 years. All of the music on the recording is part of the repertoire that is performed week in and week out at services in St Mary’s. It’s a snapshot of what you might hear if you attend any of our choral services throughout the year. I’ve been very lucky to work with some very talented and loyal singers over the years and I’m delighted that we’re now able to share the fruits of our labour with a much wider audience thanks to this recording.”

    The CD is available from St Mary’s, retailing at £10, and also at local outlets in Nottingham including the music shops Windblowers on Derby Road and Classical CD in Hockley. It is also available to buy on-line:

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  • St Mary’s Choir Performs New Year’s Concert in Nuremburg (1/1/2015)

    27 singers from St Mary’s choir joined the choir of St Egidien’s church in Nuremberg for a new year’s eve performance of Handel’s Messiah.

    The concert was performed to a sell-out crowd of over 400 people. The two choirs were conducted by Pia Praetorius. This was the third time that St Mary’s choir have visited Nuremberg and the fifth occasion where the two choirs have sing together.



All News:

2019/20 Choral Scholarships

Nottingham choral scholarshipsGoing to university in September?

St Mary’s Choir Nottingham is currently recruiting paid choral scholars for the academic year 2019/20. Vacancies for soprano, alto, tenor and bass choral scholars.

Click here for more information.

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