Music at All Saints’

Music, under the direction of our Choirmaster and Organist, Dr. Carl Klein, is an integral component of worship at All Saints’. In addition to our children’s and adult vocal choirs, we have a bell choir – directed by Debbie Psilopoulos –  a 3 manual, 42 rank Letourneau organ, and a 1901 Steinway grand piano in our sanctuary.

Choir Schedules

Choir Practice Performance
Parish Choir (Senior) Thursdays, 7:45 PM Sundays, 10:00 AM
“B” Sharp Choir (Junior) Thursdays, 6:30–7:30 PM Sundays, about twice per month, 10:00 AM
Disco Penguin Choir (Children’s) Thursdays, 6:00-7:00 PM Sundays, about twice per month, 10:00 AM
Bell Choir Thursdays, 6:30–7:30 PM Sundays, frequently, 10:00 AM

New members to our choirs are always welcome!

Contact our Organist and Choirmaster

For more information on music at All Saints’, please use the Contact Us page, choosing Choir Director from the “To be contacted” menu. This will send an E-mail to Dr. Klein.

This Week’s Music

Prelude: Voluntary # 4 in G Minor – William Boyce (1711-1779)
Mr. Boyce was a Choirboy at St. Paul’s London, and eventually became Master of the King’s Music. He wrote lots of really fine choir music, and in his old age edited Cathedral Music, a collection of English church music that is still in wide use today. His success meant that he ate and drank a little too well, and he thus died of gout.
Offertory: Hymn 145 “Now quit your care” Quittez Pasteurs
If you attended the Ash Wednesday service, you heard this hymn once already. René, the music director at Trinity Lutheran in Chelmsford is the singer.  She and I collaborated on this and hope to work together again on a couple of Easter hymns. This tune is actually a French Noel, with Lenten text by the most excellent English Socialist priest Percy Dearmer (1867-1936), that exhorts us to focus on that which is truly important, rather than outward signs of repentance – a sort of “rend your hearts and not your garments” type message. Dearmer is perhaps best known for editing the English Hymnal with Ralph Vaughan Williams, but also for writing The Parson’s Handbook, a manual for clergy.
Variations on a Bass – Henry Coleman (1888-1965)
We had a technical glitch this past Sunday, so I’m repeating this piece as the postlude this week. It took 4 or 5 hours to get it polished and to achieve a good recording, and it’s worth hearing every note. It is a passacaglia (or one could call it a ground bass, or a chaconne, or a “canon” – as in the mislabeled “Pachelbel canon”) by English composer R. Henry Coleman. The ground bass, repeated over and over throughout the piece, is a descending G-Minor scale. The bass is stated all alone in the pedal at the outset, and each variation adds a little something more. At the halfway point the volume is throttled back and chromatic passing tones are added to the bass line for three variations. Another build-up then carries us to the end, with the bass line stated for the final time in the left hand on the “solo tuba”.  J. S. Bach’s Passacaglia in C Minor, with its 33 variations (signifying the life of Christ of course) is the supreme example of the form. I have a priest friend who listens to one of the many available YouTube recordings of the Bach Passacaglia every single night just before he goes to bed.
Musically yours,

Music for Holy Week and Easter

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.

Calling all seasonal singers!

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, know if you are interested, and music will be waiting for you!

Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols

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.