Founded in 1927 by Sir Sydney Nicholson, then organist and choirmaster of London’s Westminster Abbey, the Royal School of Church music has existed for more than 85 years serving the musical needs of cathedrals and parish churches alike. As part of its mission to uplift the spiritual life of faith communities through high-quality choral music, in the last 10 years the RSCM has developed a curriculum titled Voice for Life. The graded curriculum focuses on strengthening singers’ vocal skills, musical understanding and knowledge of repertoire.
Since 2010, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes has been an affiliate institution of the RSCM, and in that time has successfully launched a multigenerational choral program employing the Voice for Life curriculum. It is the only program of its kind in southern Delaware. St. Peter’s offers this unique musical education to children and adults of all faith traditions free of charge. Rehearsing separately during the week, the adult and chorister (children’s) choirs sometimes combine for special events.
The combined choirs will sing a service of Choral Evensong at 5 p.m., Sunday, May 26, celebrating Trinity Sunday. The choirs will be directed by Minister of Music T.J. Thomas, accompanied by Assistant Organist Georgiana Ibach, and the service will be officiated by St. Peter’s rector, the Rev. Jeffrey Austin Ross. Featured music includes Malcolm Boyle’s exuberant anthem "Thou, O God, Art Praised in Sion," as well as Herbert Sumsion’s setting of "The Magnificat" and "Nunc Dimittis in A major." A reception will follow the service in celebration of St. Peter's newly promoted choristers, who have just earned their white-level ribbons in the Voice for Life training scheme.