Music this week begins with all choirs at the Maundy Thursday service. The bells will play a piece based on the chorale, “Ah, holy Jesus,” and the Parish Choir’s anthem is also based on this tune. The youth choirs will sing a Spanish footwashing song – “Pan de vida,” and will join the Parish Choir in a Hebrew piece, “Hashivenu.” Good Friday at noon in the chapel has several hymns and reflective organ music. The evening Good Friday service is a contemplative version of the Stations of the Cross, and music will be provided by Abby Warren. The Great Vigil of Easter begins simply in the Parish Hall, but ends in a large way with the first celebration of Easter in the sanctuary. Easter morning’s 9 and 11a.m. service feature handbells, a brass quartet with timpani, and music by all choirs. Our tradition for many years has been to end the service with the “Hallelujah Chorus,” with the congregation’s participation.
Do you like to sing, but aren’t available to make a full time commitment to the Parish Choir? We’d love to have you join us for Easter, 4/21, at the 9 and 11a.m. services. Rehearsals are 3/28, 4/4, 4/11 from 7:45-8:30 and 4/20 from 1-2:30pm. Please let Minister of Music, firstname.lastname@example.org know if you are interested, and music will be waiting for you!
Our annual service of Lessons and Carols will take place on Sunday, December 16, at 4p.m. All are welcome to hear the story of the birth of Jesus told through scripture and song. The Parish, B#, Disco Penguin, and Handbell Choirs have been preparing for this special service, which will also include plenty of congregational singing, and ends with the church bathed in candlelight. We hope that you will find the time to center yourself and find the “reason for the season,” and feel free to bring a friend.
As we begin to plan our schedules for the fall, I urge you to consider joining a choir at All Saints’.
We have two youth choirs, a parish choir, and a handbell choir. Our youngest choir, the Disco Penguins, is for children who can read words (usually K/1) through grade 4 or 5. The Penguins meet on Thursdays, from 6-7pm in the Choir Room. The B# Choir is for unchanged voices, and welcomes graduating Penguins and all others through grade 12. This group meets on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30pm in the Choir Room, and includes a half hour overlap with the Disco Penguins. Each group sings separately, as well as preparing jointly for the annual Three Choirs Festival which will be on May 5, 2019 at All Saints’. Both the Disco Penguins and the B# choirs will begin rehearsals on September 13.
Our Handbell Choir, under the dedicated volunteer Debbie Psilopoulos, meets Thursdays from 6:30-7:30pm. The ability to read music is a plus for this adult group, but is not mandatory. This group rehearses in the sanctuary, beginning September 13.
The Parish Choir meets Thursdays from 7:45-9:15pm, beginning September 6. If you enjoy singing, and are interested in becoming further involved in the life at All Saints’, we would love to have you. We welcome all voice parts, but are especially in need of men.
Please speak to any current choir member, to Debbie P, or myself if you would like to know more.
Maggie Marshall, Minister of Music, email@example.com
In previous weeks, I have given some reasons to consider joining a church choir. Today, I will excerpt heavily from a 9/23/14 article by Jonathan Aigner that was included in a “Ponder Anew” blog. His article is entitled “9 Reasons to Keep the Church Choir Alive” and represents a lot of what we try to accomplish at All Saints’. Six of his reasons seem most relevant.
- Choirs support good congregational singing. … A choir demonstrates that the voice of the congregation is primary, not secondary.
- Their visual presence is an encouragement to the congregation. … We are there to be together, to worship God with each other, to be community.
- Choirs make a broader repertoire available for a worship service.
- They can offer more difficult and complex music than is possible for the greater congregation. Besides leading in times of corporate singing, since choirs have the benefit of outside rehearsal time, they can offer up musical praises on behalf of the congregation that would otherwise not be possible. In this sense, a choir can be a preaching and praying group, proclaiming God’s self-revelation, to which the congregation can listen, meditate, and respond worshipfully in their hearts.
- Choirs help singers develop and improve their musical gifts. Christians are a singing people. … Giving children opportunities for choral education in the local church setting further primes congregations to be accepting and supportive of choral music.
- Participation in choir ministry can be an avenue for introducing outsiders to the church and the Christian faith. I’ve known many, many people who have come into a church by way of a choral ensemble, have heard the gospel, and have responded with committing their life to Christ. Or, as was the case in my life, choirs can help keep people connected to the faith. I was all but ready to leave the organized church as a teenager, but a move to a new congregation and finding love and acceptance in the choir loft kept me engaged, and ultimately set the stage for me to recognize my calling into vocational church work.
Also important to keep in mind is that in striving to accomplish all of the above, we manage to have FUN in the process! The choirs are open and accepting groups, and new members are always welcome. Please speak to me at any time if you want to know more. The door is always open. Maggie Marshall, Minister of Music.
Do you like to sing? Have you thought of joining the choir, but are unable to make a full-time commitment? Easter is fast approaching, and we would love to swell our ranks. Easter is 3/27, so if you are free on Thursdays 3/10, 3/17 from 7:45-8:45pm, and Saturday, 3/26 from 1-3, we welcome you to join us. Easter services are at 9 and 11 a.m., so the expectation is also that you would be free to sing for both of those services. Maggie Marshall, Minister of Music
Now that we have completed our fifth visit from our British friends, I felt that it was time to put some facts on paper. Our first visit from the St. Peter’s Collegiate School was in September 1995. Peter Morris was the conductor, and he brought their Symphony Orchestra. Peter is related to the former Tewksbury Congregational Church pastor, Paul Millin. Paul and his wife, Betty, had visited Peter and family in 1994, and Peter first broached the possibility of TCC hosting the band. Much to Paul’s chagrin, his congregation did not respond at all, so Paul went looking for other churches and asked Dave Ferner, then AS rector, about our hosting and the rest is history! That trip was planned fairly quickly, with my first correspondence with Peter dated 5-15-95. That year, families from St. Anne’s, Lowell also assisted with hosting. In 1995, Claire Hale was their Assistant Conductor.
Their next visit was April 2001, and included Easter. This time, it was the Concert Band, under the direction of Claire Hale, and Tom Barrington was our rector. Having all of these extra musicians for Easter was a real high.
Visit number three was in February of 2005, with Claire, Concert Band, and Tom Barrington.
Visit number four was in February of 2010, and included Ash Wednesday. This time, it was Toby Barnard as conductor, Concert Band, and Tom Barrington.
Visit number five was February 2016, with both Concert Band and Chorus. Toby Barnard was again the St. Peter’s lead, and Bill Bradbury was the All Saints’ rector.
Save the date: Our British guests will be delighting us with a free, family friendly concert on Saturday, February 13 at 7p.m. The concert band and chorus from St. Peter’s Collegiate School in Wolverhampton, England, will be presenting a program designed to please all ages. We hope you will join us, and encourage friends to come as well.