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  REMINISCENCES OF St. ANDREW’S CHURCH CHOIR

St. Andrew’s Church Choir brings in nostalgic memories of the past and unveils to us the trails it has left behind on the sands of time. With the installation of the Church Pipe Organ in the year 1881 and the simultaneous appointment of the first Organist Mr. W. X Cox and Mr. F. E Dunn, almost on the same date as the choir master in the year 1909, the history of St. Andrew’s Church Choir had begun. Subsequent records reveal that with the appointment of Mrs. D.S. Anderson as the Organist in the year 1925, a full establishment of the Church Choir was in its place and as we should cherish its memory the Church witnessed the FIRST CHOIR CONCERT on Gaul’s Sacred cantata “Israel in the wilderness” of the choir on Tuesday, the 3rd December 1929 in our church conducted by Captain W. Wailling and accompanied by Mrs. Anderson, with Scottish Church choir members singing then, thus heralding the birth of an organised choir in the history of St. Andrew’s Church to the glory of God.

Predominantly being Scottish then, the Church had an excellent choir of reputation and it became one of the best choirs in the city. The Choir would regularly hold sacred classical music concerts at least twice a year till the 50’s. Mrs. Edmond, Mr. athews and Mr. Vanderholt were the prominent Organists and the Choir Directors up to the year 1949. Mr. Vanderholt’s Organ recital in the year 1953 in aid of the Organ Fund is worth mentioning.

The changes in the political clime with the dawn of Independence brought obviously changes in the composition of the Choir and its choir directors. On the resignation of Mr. Vander Holt in the year 1948, Mr. Bryan Moore was appointed the official Organist and the Choir Director of our church. Still with a few Scottish members present in the choir, the early 60’s attracted a few more Indian worshippers joining the choir. The Choir would sit in the choir stalls both during the morning and evening services and special numbers would be sung during every evening service. Most of the choristers were trained voices and even the, then prominent Opera Singer Rev. Dr. Henry Sedlo who was the pastor during the years 1955-59, we are proud to place on record, was one of the members of the choir.

Mid and late 60’s the times were changing and everything was be to be ‘new’ even ‘new music’ for a ‘new Age’. Bryan Moore with his depth of reverence and love for the beauty and dignity of the 18th and 19th century composers made use of his talents as the Choir Director, providing opportunities for the youngsters to be inspired in good church-music. His longest service as the Organist and the Choir Director for thirty years is being remembered by many of us even today. Bryan Moore with his pile of music under the arm was a familiar figure of St. Andrew’s and he did perform music solemnly placing his fingers on the key boards of our Pipe Organ and playing melodious accompaniments for each and every worship service and also for the other special collective choir singings he had organised. In face Bryan Moore had set up a high standard of music and although he could not get together a big choir, as a sympathetic accompanist he was, he converted congregational singing into a very beautiful part of regular church worship services.

Eventually many of the best Scottish choir members left due to migration and the choir shrunk in size with the other Indian members either left or departed from the world. At one stage there were only four members which constituted the choir! Even the beautiful choir stalls were removed. Still it was kept going. The Choir would get a few members during festivals and would present special numbers.

With the same condition prevailing in 70’s for some time, the choir was slowly but surely reconstituted in the late 70’s. With the appointment of Mr. J. T. William Joseph as the official Organist and Choir Director during 1978 after the demise of Mr. Bryan Moor on 27.11.1978, a new life was infused and the choir stalls were brought back to position in the altar and the choir came back to life and lime light again and started giving several performances as we remember with gladness to the glory of God.  To mention a few worth remembering, we had an Organ Centenary celebrated in the year 1981 with Padmashri Handel Manuel of Chennai, as the guest Organist giving pipe-organ recital for the function.

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St. Andrews Church
No.27, Cubbon Road, Bangalore-560001

Phone: +91-80-25591 874
Email: andrewschurchblore@gmail.com