Choir & Music


Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Tell of his salvation from day to day.

For nearly 1000 years, St Mary’s glorious spaces have resonated with choral music. As such music plays a fundamental part in the most celebrated festivals and poignant moments at St Mary’s. Today, the Church’s choir and organist perform at services every Sunday during term-time, with the repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to newly-commissioned works. The Director of Music is always interested to hear from potential singers. Currently, we have a senior and junior choir with four choral scholarships available every year.


St Marys Church - Junior Choristers

Junior Choristers

New junior choristers join our Melody Makers and take part in Thursday rehearsals from 6pm to 7pm, where they learn the basics of vocal technique and choral singing. After a period of time, they progress into the full choir and join the seniors on a Sunday morning for our Sung Eucharist service.

Junior choristers are taught how to read music notation and learn many disciplines needed for later life. All children are paid per rehearsal/service attended as a reward for their work. This opportunity is open to boys and girls from school year three, and the youngest we have is seven years old. There is no need to have had prior experience of singing, just a love for music and a willingness to commit to our Thursday rehearsals.

To join the Melody Makers, please email the Director of Music: sebthomson@gmail.com

Adult Choir

Alongside our junior choristers, we are always interested in hearing from singers about joining our famous church choir. There are opportunities for sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. We meet on a Thursday evening at 7.15pm and finish at 9pm. Drinks and snacks are served afterwards!

How to join:
A very informal audition is required before joining. This will include a chat with the Director of Music to discuss the commitments, and the singing of a hymn. For further details, please contact the the Director of Music: sebthomson@gmail.com

Choir Alt

Choral Scholars

The choir has between four and five Choral Scholars who are paid singers, committed to maintaining and developing our musical standards. The fees range from £750 – £1200 depending on experience. Choral scholars are expected to sing for our Sunday Mass and Choral Evensong on the third Sunday of the month.

For further details, please contact the the Director of Music: sebthomson@gmail.com


St Marys Church - Organ Console

The Organ

St. Mary’s is fortunate to possess a fine romantic organ, containing pipework by Holditch, Hill, Norman & Beard, and A. E. Davis. Recently refurbished and with a new console, the organ has 43 speaking stops spread over three manuals and pedals. The main body of the organ, housing the Great, Swell and Pedal divisions, is situated in the North-West corner of the church, with a two-rank extension Positive division mounted on the North chancel wall.


Sebastian Thomson - Director of Music St Mary's Henley

Sebastian Thompson

Choral Director, Organist and Teacher BA, FRCO (DipCHD)

Sebastian Thomson was a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford before moving to Harrow School with the top music scholarship. Sebastian studied at Bristol University before holding positions at Chichester Cathedral, St Matthew’s Church Northampton, Eton College and most recently, Bloxham School.
Currently, Sebastian continues to pursue a freelance career as a choral conductor and organist based in Oxford. Having studied the organ with David Goode and David Briggs, he is in demand as both a recitalist and an accompanist. His recent solo engagements include recitals at Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, King’s College Cambridge, and St Paul’s Cathedral. Sebastian has made appearances as a performer and speaker on local and national television and radio. Learn more about Sebastian here.