Music is an integral part of each 10am Sunday service (9am in the summer). We select our hymns and service music from several Episcopal hymnals, with a wide range of styles grounded firmly in Anglican tradition. Most services will include some plainsong and/or Anglican chant. All the hymns and most of the service music are sung by the congregation, led by the choir and accompanied by our fine pipe organ, or by piano when musically appropriate. Our priest Sarah Kelb, herself a trained singer, will often chant parts of the service.
The Senior choir sings some of the best music from the past six centuries: Bach, Billings, Handel, Mozart, Palestrina, Stainer, Tallis; gospel, and Sacred Harp We are a team rooted in trust, kindness and mutual respect, a close-knit group of individuals who warmly welcome new members – any time of the year, no audition required. Our rehearsals strike a balance between fun and hard work; each of us strives to do our personal best, and to help each other as we are able. The Senior choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9, and sings Offertory anthems at Sunday 10am services from September through early June.
The Junior choir follows the same principles as the Senior choir, on a smaller (and younger) scale. Each year from September until June we rehearse seven or eight songs (one or two at a time) of varying styles and levels of difficulty, and sing them as Offertory anthems, usually at 10am family services on the first Sunday of the month.
Participation in St. Paul’s music ministry is not limited to the choirs. Offertory anthems occasionally feature additional instrumentation such as bass, guitar, keyboards, and trumpet. Musicians from the congregation will sometimes provide preludes or postludes. At our two Christmas Eve services the preludes are usually expanded into half-hour “mini-concerts” featuring a variety of musicians. If you’d like to do something musical, ask the Music Director and we’ll try to make it happen.
St. Paul’s music ministry is led by our music director Ed Stauff. In addition to accompanying services and directing the choirs, Ed composes original music and choral arrangements that are regularly heard at St Paul’s.