Sacred choral music forms an integral part of the mass and has been practiced in various forms since the 4th century. Much of the current scores originate form the renaissance period and later, and are by composers such as Palestrina, Byrd, Mozart, Handel, & Tallis amongst others.
St George’s RC Church Sudbury http://stgeorgessudbury.org.uk/ is a Roman Catholic church in the Diocese of Westminster http://www.rcdow.org.uk/ it was consecrated in 1928 and modelled on a pre-reformation English Church.
By 1933 there was a regular Sung Mass every Sunday with organ. The singers (all male) were professionals hired by the Parish Priest. Within a short time there were sufficient men available for a choir trained by Frank Adams and they sang at Mass and on Sunday evenings at Vespers and Benediction. They were fully vested in cassock and surplice and sat in choir stalls on either side of the sanctuary this was the first emergence of St George’s Church Choir.
This continued until the end of the War and in 1945 a number of boys were recruited and trained by Frank Adams to sing Benedictine plainsong along with the men and also to sing some harmonised hymns and canticles. Shortly after this the choir would sing Vespers on Holydays of Obligation and Days of Devotion (lesser feasts) .
When Fr. Russell died in January 1965 Mgr. Wilfred Purney was appointed Parish Priest and also the Liturgical changes of Vatican 2 were introduced. Frank Adams had retired and so Fr. Purney started a new boys choir and appointed Paul McCarthy choirmaster. He being an ex Westminster Choir schoolboy brought in a wider range of polyphonic music and developed the choir to sing at much higher standard.
At the same time the choir joined the International Federation of Pueri Cantores, http://www.puericantores.org/ the official Vatican body of choirs worldwide which led to the choir participating in Congresses all over Europe including Wurzburg, Rome, Paris, Loreto, Ireland, Salamanca, Holland and in London singing in Westminster and Brentwood Cathedrals and the Royal Albert Hall.
Robert Jones, a chorister from the age of seven and former Choral Scholar at Worcester College, Oxford, took over as choirmaster in 2000.
Recently the choir has travelled to Rome and Paris. In Paris the choir were fortunate to be able to sing Mass at "The Madeleine" and The Basilica of St. Clotilde with its famous organ built for and used by Cesar Franck. With another change in the responses at Mass the choir is adapting to the new liturgy and continuing to sing at the 11.15 Mass every Sunday and at all the Major services for Holy Week, Easter and Christmas.
It is hoped that the choir will sing at the Saturday evening Mass at Westminster Cathedral in 2012 and to arrange an overseas visit to a European country later in the near future. There are always opportunities for new men and boys to join the choir and training is given to boys from the age of seven (after their First Holy Communion) onwards.