Choirs at St. James'
Choir of Saint James’
The CHOIR OF ST. JAMES is made up of amateur and professional adult musicians from the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Under the direction of Organist and Choirmaster James Buonemani, it is the first American choir to have sung in performance with the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The Choir of Saint James’ has been honored to serve three times as Westminster Abbey’s choir-in-residence, and has sung at many of England’s great Cathedrals and Chapels. Inviting the Choir to return to Westminster Abbey, Precentor Deiniol Morgan wrote “the quality of singing was exceptionally high and our worship was much enriched by your contribution."
As the core musical organization of Saint James’ Church, the choir has played host to many of the world’s finest choirs during their international tours, including The Sixteen, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, the American Boychoir, the Gloriae Dei Cantores, the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, the Choir of the Royal Holloway and the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The Choir of Saint James’ performed the music for the official Los Angeles Memorial to Princess Diana in 1997.
In addition to weekly services and monthly evensongs, the Choir of Saint James’ presents concerts featuring many of the great choral masterpieces with orchestra. Under James Buonemani’s direction (since 1995), significant works have included the Requiems of Maurice Duruflé, Gabriel Fauré, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi; the Mass in G Minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams, the Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn, the Funeral Ikos and Song for Athene by John Tavener, the 40-part motet “Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis, the Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein and the Lux Aeterna of Los Angeles composer Morten Lauridsen. In July, 2004 the choir was featured at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists.
The Choir releases its first commercially available CD on the Gothic label in December of 2018. Entitled “O Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New,” the CD will include the music of Ēriks Ešenvalds, Vytautas Miškinis, Ola Gjeilo, William Walton, Edward Bairstow, Francis Poulenc and James Buonemani.
Saint James’ Children’s Choir
Saint James’ Children’s Choir is a joint project of Saint James’ Church and School, open to children in grades three through six. The Children’s Choir generally performs on the second Sunday of the month October through May, for the 10:30 AM Sunday service. With adequate personnel, the choir may also sing in the Family Eucharist on Christmas Eve. Membership in the choir requires a commitment to make one’s best effort to attend all rehearsals and scheduled services. The choir rehearses once each week on Tuesday or Thursday after school from 3:40 until 4:30 PM. Each student chooses either day as his or her regular day for the season. For more information contact the Associate Musician for Youth, Jim Casey at email@example.com.