Anyone of high school age or older is welcome to join. A desire to sing in the service of God and in the leadership of worship is the most important qualification, coupled with a willingness to make a commitment to this ministry. Singers do not need to be able to read music when they join.
The Adult Choir follows a school-year schedule, from the Sunday after Labor Day through the middle of June. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings, from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. Any other special rehearsals are announced well in advance.
Rehearsals are not limited to the preparation of anthems and other music, but include time to work on vocal technique and musical skills. We also meet on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. to warm up and review music for the service.
In addition to Sunday mornings, the Choir sings on Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, and Maundy Thursday. On Easter, the Choir sings for services at 9:00 and 11:15 a.m., and enjoys a great brunch in between! Other benefits of singing in the choir are reserved seats on Christmas and Easter, the warmest spot in the church during the winter months, and great fellowship activities (usually involving excellent food).
Within the past several years, the Adult Choir has offered anthems ranging from the rich sounds of Russian Orthodox liturgical music to the brilliance and enthusiasm of gospel, from the profundity of Bach to the powerful emotions of spirituals, and from the mysticism of Herbert Howells to the lyricism of John Rutter and David Ashley White. The Adult Choir’s ministry has been enhanced from time to time by instrumentalists playing flute, oboe, violin, cello, harp, and trumpet.
Throughout the church year St. Andrew’s offers several services that have a musical emphasis. These services include:
- A Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent
This service features a number of Biblical readings, followed by congregational hymns or anthems. The service begins with the story of the Fall found in Genesis and focuses on the Old Testament prophecies of the coming of a Messiah; the final lesson is the Annunciation to Mary and her visit to Elizabeth, followed by a setting of the Magnificat. Because this service is in Advent, a season of preparation and waiting, the lessons conclude before the birth of Jesus. Thus, the service ends on a note of anticipation that will find its fulfillment on Christmas Eve, when the first Christmas carols are sung.
- Christmas Eve
Beginning a half hour before the Christmas Eve service, the Adult Choir and congregation sing a number of familiar Christmas carols, interspersed with organ settings of carols. This festive service is enhanced by brass accompaniment to a number of the carols sung during the service.