The Philosophy Behind our Music Making
Our church is committed to our choir members enjoying a life together of ministry through music, not merely participation in a music program. As followers of Jesus Christ, we strive to equip the gathered saints for the work of ministry. Therefore, music making is not an end in itself, but a means to a greater end: that of offering a living sacrifice of praise, of personal time and talent to our Creator God. As Christian musicians, we are not here to serve the art, but to serve the God of all art. Therefore the first commitment asked of each participant is to be a worshipper.
Our Musical Heritage
Christ Church Anglican’s musical heritage is a rich one. The Reverend John Wesley (Rector of Christ Church, 1736-1737) published the first English Hymnal in America at Christ Church in 1737. The hymnal was printed in the then named Charlestown by a printing company owned by Benjamin Franklin. The Reverend Bland Tucker (Rector of Christ Church, 1945-1967) served on the committees which put together both The Hymnal 1940 and our current hymnal, The Hymnal 1982. He also authored many hymns which appear in both. American songwriter and performer Johnny Mercer grew up at Christ Church and learned to sing in the Choristers, the parish’s children’s choir.
There are many opportunities available for musicians of all skill levels within our church. Those interested in singing may join the choir for students in first grade and above, Choristers, or one of the two choirs for adults: Parish Choir and Compline Choir. Although our Sunday morning choirs are not auditioned, membership within a choir requires the ability to match pitch consistently, a commitment to regular attendance, and a desire to improve one’s own musical ability. We have a variety of volunteer ensembles that rehearse weekly. Those interested in playing instruments during worship may join the Folk Group, an ensemble of varied instrumentation, or the The Bells of Christ Church, which plays seven octaves of handbells and chimes. We also have musicians share their talents during worship in solo and small ensemble performances as well.
Please contact our Parish Musician, Mark Williams, if you are interested in serving.
Choirs and Instrumental Ensembles
The Parish Choir
The Parish Choir, made up of adults, high school, and college students, leads the hymns and service music and offers an anthem each week at our 10:30 a.m. service. They also participate in the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols and offer a major work with orchestra each spring. Past works performed include Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Schubert’s Mass in G, Faure’s Requiem, A Contemporary Mass, and Alice Parker’s Sacred Symphonies. The choir rehearses weekly on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Choir Room during the school year, and meets for 30 minutes immediately before the 10:30 a.m. service. All Wednesday choirs and their families are welcome to the choir dinner at 6 p.m. in Hebron Hall.
The Choristers, for students in 1st -12th grades, learn music reading, music listening, and music performing in order to assist in worship each Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. service, where they often offer an anthem. They also participate in the Advent Festival of Lessons & Carols. The Choristers rehearse on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:45 p.m. in the Choir Room during the school year, and meet for 30 minutes immediately before the 10:30 a.m. service.
The Compline Choir
The Compline Choir is an auditioned, ecumenical choir which sings the office of Compline by candlelight each Sunday at 8 p.m. Made up of adults and high school and college students, the choir rehearses Sundays at 6:30 p.m. prior to the service. They sing a wide variety of music, but are grounded in Compline’s set order of worship, chanting the prayers and psalms.
The Bells of Christ Church
The Bells of Christ Church, a handbell choir made up of youth and young adults, is considered the finest youth handbell choir in the Southeastern Unites States. They ring monthly during morning worship and participate in major musical events of the church. They also tour each summer throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and East Coast. Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the balcony of the church.
The Folk Group
This ensemble of adults and high school students leads singing while the congregation takes communion during the 10:30 a.m. service. The group includes a wide variety of instruments: violin, cello, flute, oboe, trumpet, bass, guitars, hand drum, and piano. Rehearsals are held every other Sunday following worship and briefly before the 10:30 a.m. service.