St Stephen's Uniting Church

Macquarie St, Sydney


HymnFest 2017

500th Anniversary of the Reformation


Sunday 10th September 2017




Again we would like to invite choristers to join us to form the massed choir for our annual Hymnfest. This year's theme will consist of hymns and anthems associated with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. We will be singing several German Chorales which are well known in English hymn books plus some psalm hymns from the Genevan and Scottish Psalters and a couple of grand English hymns appropriate for the Reformation. The two anthems this year may not be so well known but shouldn't be difficult to learn.  We will be singing Wesley's 'Blessed be the God and Father' and the final chorus from Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio'. The choir just sings the famous Passion Chorale hymn which Bach also used in his 'St Matthew Passion', accompanied by a virtuosic orchestral and trumpet part.  For those who have not sung them before, there are rehearsal recordings available online (see links below). There will be a massed choir rehearsal prior to the concert on Sunday 3rd September at 1.30pm. Choristers need to know their parts before the rehearsal as we won't have time to teach parts on that day.

If you wish to join us, could you please email Mark Quarmby, the Director of Music, so that we have some idea of numbers per part for the day:

Hymnfest will be conducted by our Choral Director, Huw Belling and will be accompanied by the organ and our brass ensemble with timpani.


As usual, we will have a combined choir rehearsal the Sunday before on Sunday 3 September at St Stephen's, Macquarie St commencing at 1.30pm. 

We will have a warmup on the Hymnfest day and allocate seating positions at 1pm.  The performance will start at 2.30pm and there will be an afternoon tea to follow in the hall downstairs.

Dress for the performance will be like previous years, all black or black and white.


To download a copy of the choir's hymn booklet, please click on blue link below:


Choir hymn booklet  (31 pages, including title page and contents)

All choristers should be familiar with the harmonies for those verses to be sung in harmony and
sopranos, in particular, will need to learn any descants in advance of our rehearsal.


If you don't have a score of the anthems, both are out of copyright and can be downloaded for free by clicking on the links below.


Wesley 'Blessed be the God and Father'  (13 pages)

Bach 'Now Vengeance hath been taken'  (4 pages) [We are singing in English from the Novello score]



Rehearsal recordings

Some free rehearsal recordings can be found below:


To use the John Fletcher rehearsal recorings below, you will need to login.

The login details are:
username: ssmschoir
password: choir197



Blessed be the God and Father


Youtube video with the score to follow:


Cantemus MIDI files




Now Vengeance hath been taken (Bach)

Movement 64 from 'Christmas Oratorio' (we are singing in English from the Novello score)

Scroll down to: 64 Choral: Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen

Again, scroll down to: 64 Choral: Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen




We are looking forward to you joining us again this year.


Mark Quarmby

Director of Music