St James's Players
St James's Players is directed by Martin Hinckley and the membership changes as people come and go, but the group continues to draw in both the young and not so young and encompasses a wide range of musical experience. There is no age limit, nor, in fact, any limits at all, although it does help if a member can play a musical instrument! Instrumentalists need to be able to read the appropriate notation for their instrument. St James's Players welcome new members at any time and they can accommodate more or less any instrument at more or less any standard. Music is specially arranged and uploaded to the website by Martin. Players then download their own parts.
The group has to strike a balance between 'making a joyful noise unto the Lord' and providing an acceptable accompaniment for the congregation. It has a repertoire of about ninety religious songs and hymns and thirty communion pieces and playouts. It accompanies the hymns during the All-age Service and plays quiet music before the service, processional music at the end and anything else that needs playing. It has supported the music in some special services, such as the Carol Services and Confirmations.
For some members this is their only opportunity to make music in a group and the fellowship engendered cannot be underplayed. There is a run-through half an hour before each All-age Service. The limited rehearsal time and the need to be ready with the right hymn at the right time in the right key develop useful transferable skills!