“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise.” -Ps. 101:1
The music ministry has three aims: to lead the congregation in the worship of God, to present musical offerings to God, achieving beauty in sound for the purpose of ascribing glory to God, and to edify the congregation with musical settings of scripture, prayer, and other sacred texts. We invite you to explore the various ensembles and musical events at St. Peter’s.
During most Sunday morning services throughout the program year, the Adult Choir can be heard singing several anthems as well as leading the congregation in the singing of hymns and service music. Highlights of the program year include Choral Evensong, Lessons and Carols, the Christmas Eve Choral Prelude, and Good Friday Tenebrae. The choir’s repertoire spans several hundred years of sacred music and includes a variety of languages as well as genres.The craft of the Adult Choir is the expressive and emotional communication of scripture and prayer. Blessed by God with talent, the choir strives to serve God and the community with music. The Adult Choir sings and rehearses from September to May. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings from 7:15 to 9:15 in the choir room. The Adult Choir warms up about 45 minutes before services.
St. Peter’s Folk Group began in 2002 and is comprised of a small group of singers and instrumentalists who enjoy making “joyful sounds” together. The group often provides music for services that focus on families and children. We offer music that both relates to the theme of the service and encourages congregational participation.
We are always looking for people who enjoy making music with others and are committed to regular attendance at rehearsals and folk Sunday services. Being able to read music is helpful but not necessary. The folk group plays six services throughout the year and rehearses two evenings and one Saturday morning before each folk group Sunday.
The Organ at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
The organ at St. Peter’s is a unique instrument constructed from several smaller organs and augmented with ranks from nearly a dozen different makers. The product of organ builder Brantley Duddy and consultant Richard Alexander, the St. Peter’s organ is equally capable of accompanying a soloist as well as a congregation of several hundred.
The instrument began as a 1951 Casavant Frères organ, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arch Flower. In 1977, St. Peter’s purchased another organ from the Eighth Church of Christ, Scientist at 103 East 77th Street, New York City. This instrument was a 1952 Æolian-Skinner organ built by G. Donald Harrison, and its pipework enlarged the Casavant instrument already installed at St. Peter’s.
The organ committee designed a Choir enclosure to match the Casavant Swell box, and the enclosure was built by volunteers of St. Peter’s. Over the years, St. Peter’s continued to augment the organ’s tonal resources with pipes from various makers. A 4-manual Æolian-Skinner console was also installed. Since 2011, the organ has been operated with an Opus-Two control system.
The Bell Choir of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church enhances worship through the art and practice of handbell ringing. Ringers have the opportunity to learn music from a variety of genres. Weekly rehearsals develop music reading skills and specific handbell techniques needed for expressive playing.
The current members of the Bell Choir rehearse on Sunday following the 10:00 a.m. service. The Choir plays five times a year including Christmas and Easter. No prior musical experience is necessary. All are welcome! Please contact Kathy Flaherty, Interim Organist and Handbell Director to get involved.
Members of St. Peter’s and the wider community gather several times a year for Taizé Prayer. This is a meditative form of worship based in scripture, song, and silence. At the service, musicians accompany the chants. We have music for keyboard, classical guitar, recorder, flute, and other instruments.
Music always plays an important role in our services of celebration. On special occasions, we enlist the talent of outside musicians to add to the festive tone of our services. From the beauty of harp-playing on Christmas Eve to the glory of a brass and timpani ensemble on Easter Sunday, we experience a variety of instrumentalists that enrich our services with their talent throughout the year.