The York Wedding Singers
The York Wedding Singers are one of Yorkshire's leading liturgical chamber choirs. They bring high-quality music to churches and cathedrals in Yorkshire, and provide a specialised choral music service for church weddings. None of them makes any profit from what they do -- charges simply cover expenses throughout the year.
The York Wedding Singers
Book the York Wedding Singers for your church wedding anywhere in Yorkshire.
The York Wedding Singers are an accomplished church chamber choir and have experience of many different styles of music and perform in many different settings.
- The York Wedding Singers take the time to discuss your requirements with you in detail, so you can specify exactly what you'd like from them.
- The York Wedding Singers are happy to learn new songs at no additional charge, or they can recommend options to suit your taste from an extensive range of wedding music.
- The York Wedding Singers work closely with the organist and any other musicians at your chosen church, or can recommend their own top-notch professional musicians.
- If you'd like something really unique, The York Wedding Singers can create a new choral arrangement of your favourite song, or you can commission a new piece of music from one of their resident composers. (Arrangers and composers are likely to make an additional charge.)
The York Wedding Singers always consider the needs of the music you've requested and make sure we have the line-up to guarantee a professional performance, whether this means a quartet or a full choir.
Many couples ask The York Wedding Singers for advice on what music to choose for their wedding ceremony. So they have put together a list of music they know really well and would be happy to perform. But if you’re booking in plenty of time, they don’t expect you to choose exclusively from this list. Except in very busy periods, The York Wedding Singers are generally happy to learn new music at your request — in fact, it’s something they particularly enjoy!
- The Blue Bird (Charles Stanford): an impressionistic setting of a poem by Mary Coleridge, describing a bird flying over a lake. Features a soprano soloist. The words aren’t religious, and so can be used in secular ceremonies.
- O Taste and See (Ralph Vaughan Williams): a short, pretty motet originally composed for the coronation of Elizabeth II. Features a soprano soloist. Words: O taste and see how gracious the Lord is: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Great for the entrance of the bride.
- Beati Quorum Via (Charles Stanford): a beautiful six-part motet whose words translate roughly as Blessed is he who walks in the way of the Lord.
- Ubi Caritas (Maurice Duruflé): a well-known motet based on plainsong themes. The words translate as Where love is, there will God be also. Short and sweet.
- I Was Glad (Henry Purcell): a very celebratory setting of a well-known psalm, composed by one of England’s greatest musicians. The piece is about 5 minutes long.
- I Was Glad (C H H Parry): another, even more famous setting of the same psalm, this time from the coronation of Elizabeth II. There’s an organ part and it’s quite challenging, so if you’re not using The York Wedding Singers organist, you should check your organist is happy to play it.
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach): a popular choice for church weddings. Requires an organ.
- Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart): a very famous motet on a religious theme. Requires accompaniment, but this works equally well on piano, organ or strings. Particularly appropriate if you’re having a nuptial mass (i.e. communion during your service).
- The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God (Haydn): a chorus from Haydn’s famous work The Creation. Energetic and celebratory in tone. Requires a piano or organ (or indeed a full orchestra, if you have one lying around!).
- Sing Unto God (Handel): another celebratory chorus, very well suited to weddings. The text is Sing unto God, and high affections raise: to crown this conquest with unmeasur’d praise. Also requires an organ – doesn’t work so well on piano.
The choir were very, very good. A great help for the wedding guests to sing the hymns and their arrangements during the signing of the wedding were truly beautiful. Thank you to the York Wedding Singers.
The choir were fantastic at our wedding ceremony. Such great singers, it made such a difference to the hymns and gave our guests the confidence to sing out of tune! The choir were very professional indeed and the organisation was very easy. Thank you!
We could not have asked for better service. The booking process was easy and very efficient throughout. The choir itself were excellent and catered for our every need. The music they sung was incredible and more that what we had expected. I would certainly recommend them to anyone.
The York Wedding Singers were a valuable addition to a wonderful day really helping to swell the hymns, and the choral additions were lovely. Communication between my daughter and Toby was very good and between them gave the congregation a very special service.
I can't recommend the York Wedding Singers highly enough. They were absolutely fantastic and made our church service even more special than it already was. From the first contact Toby was attentive and helpful; recommending hymns and sending us their sheet music so we knew we were printing the right words in the order of service! They were punctual, well turned out and their performance was beautiful. 10 out of 10.
Thank you so much for making our wedding ceremony so special and memorable. Everyone commented on how professional and talented you all were. You have a great sound and accommodated all of our music choices wonderfully, truly you made our wedding the best ever! Helen and Graham xxx
What will you sing?
Whatever suits! We’re very flexible when it comes to music. If your wedding has a particular theme, we can recommend appropriate choral music to fit that theme. If not, we can keep things simple by offering you our list of current repertoire to choose from. But we also like learning new music, so if there’s something you have in mind that isn’t on our list, just ask.
At most weddings we expect to be asked to sing two or three songs, perhaps during the signing of the register, and/or at the beginning or end. We would also expect to lead the congregation in singing any hymns you've chosen. We can do more than that at no extra cost, but the more music you choose, the more handy it will be for us if some of the music you choose is on our existing repertoire list. If in doubt, get in touch and we can negotiate.
Can you work with the church's organist or music group?
Yes – we normally do! Put us in touch and we’ll liaise with them directly. If your church is close to central York, where most of us live, we might be available to meet up for a rehearsal with your musicians in advance. If not, we can manage just fine on the day.
We don’t have an organist or music group available. Is that a problem?
Not at all. We have our own professional organist attached to the group (for a slight additional charge). But, it’s really not a problem if we don’t have anyone playing an instrument – we’re used to that. You’ll even find that we can lead congregational hymns that way.
Can you provide a solo singer or instrumentalist for us?
Yes, probably. We often perform choir pieces which feature a soloist or small group of singers as part of the music, and there's no extra charge for this. But, if you specifically want a soloist rather than a choir, bear in mind that they might charge you separately. Although all of us are volunteers, some of us are also professional musicians who make a living from that kind of thing.
Can you sing something special or unusual?
Of course. Sounds like fun! We have several professional arrangers and composers in our ranks, one of whom specialises in making choral arrangements of pop songs, so just ask.
Do you only sing at weekends?
Not at all. Our most common days are Saturdays (for weddings) and Sundays (for services), but we do weekday services sometimes too. It can’t harm to ask.
Will you definitely be available on my chosen date?
All being well, yes. We haven’t turned down too many requests yet. But there’s no hard-and-fast rule. Basically, for every request we receive, we check to see how many of our (20-ish) singers are available. If that number is enough to muster a decent group of singers for the music you’d like, then we’ll go ahead and confirm it. We sing just as nicely as a quartet!
How come you're such good value?
Because we don't operate for profit. We only charge enough to cover our expenses, including travel, music hire, and providing free services to churches at other times of the year. Nobody in the group, not even the director, benefits financially from being part of it.
How far will you travel?
Our official 'patch' is Yorkshire. That’s quite a big area, but we’re not adverse to travelling across it for services. We don’t generally charge travel expenses, although if you want to book us for an event outside Yorkshire, we'll expect to discuss this.
How many of you will there be?
Anything from a quartet to a full choir. We always consider the needs of the music you've requested and make sure we have the line-up to guarantee a professional performance. We'll let you know in good time how many of us to expect!
The York Wedding Singers are usually asked to perform three or four featured songs during a church wedding ceremony -- for instance, for the entrance of the bride, during the signing of the register, at communion (if there is one), and at the end of the service.
They also lead the singing for any congregational hymns (with full choral harmony).
For receptions and other events, the choir can perform individual pieces or longer sets of up to 30 minutes at a time, including church music, popular music, or a mixture.
Please Note: The fees indicated below are approximate and based on a central location for each county. They are intended to provide a rough guide only and exact quotes can only be given once the date and exact location of your event have been provided.