Music

We have a strong musical and choral tradition at Old Saint Paul’s. This is supported by our choir, Director of Music, Dr John Kitchen, and our Assistant Director of Music, Calum Robertson.

Repertoire

We have a wide range of music which includes:

  • Renaissance masses and motets by composers such as Palestrina and Byrd.
  • Viennese masses by Mozart and Haydn.
  • French masses by Gounod, Widor and Vierne.
  • Seventeenth and eighteenth-century music by composers such as Purcell, Greene, and Charpentier.
  • Standard works from the Anglican liturgical tradition by Stainer, Parry, Stanford, Howells
  • More recent works, including challenging pieces such as James MacMillan’s ‘Westminster’ Mass.

Both congregation and choir contribute to the music in worship at OSP. Congregational hymns, responses and shorter liturgical items are considered a vital part of the music, and the congregation sings the Gloria and Credo of the Mass.

Organ voluntaries are chosen to reflect the tone of the service, and organ improvisation plays an important role during processions and at other times. We try to integrate liturgy and music as closely as possible.

Choir

Our choir sings at Mass and Evensong every Sunday, on major Feast Days, and at the carol services of Advent and Christmas.

The choir is made up of men and women, and many of them are students. We fund four choral scholarships, one each for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. Our other choir members are volunteers.

We are always happy to hear from new volunteers. As we sing a wide range of music on minimal rehearsal, it is essential that members have good sight-reading skills.

If you would like to join the choir, you can contact us.

Music staff

Our Director of Music is Dr John Kitchen, organist, conductor, early music scholar, and music educator. John is well known for his live performances, for his extensive portfolio of recordings, and for his research and demonstration of historical keyboard instruments.

John is supported by our Assistant Director of Music, Calum Robertson. Calum is a Live Music Now artist and a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His first-study instrument is the clarinet, and he works both as a freelance clarinettist and a freelance organist.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe concerts

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we run a programme of nightly concerts of classical music called ‘Hot Chocolate at 10’.

Hot chocolate is served before each concert begins, and the concerts are performed by candlelight. Some of the performers are members of our choir, but Hot Chocolate at 10 attracts many other fine young musicians as well.