If you are someone who loves to sing or enjoys the sounds of beautiful musical instruments, there is a place for you in the music ministry at St. Johns! Our chorister program for children nurtures young musicians in a supportive and energetic learning environment, while our adult choir is open to adults at any stage of life from amateur to professional who want to lend their voice in the leading of worship. No prior musical experience is necessary! And, men looking for a slightly more challenging semi-professional opportunity should check out our Compline choir, an auditioned ensemble that meets once weekly for rehearsal and worship.
St. John’s also offers several other musical programs for children throughout the week and during the summer months. And if singing is not your thing, there are many other ways for you to get involved in our music program. More information on each opportunity can be found below.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Music Ministries is currently following guidelines outlined in the St. John’s Regathering Plan. All in-person choir rehearsals have been suspended and are temporarily taking place online via Zoom. Contact us if you are interested in participating virtually. To view the regathering plan, click here.
The St. John’s choristers are a group of children and youth ages 8+ who, together with the adult choir, lead worship on Sunday mornings. Using the RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) system of choir training, the choristers sing treble (soprano) parts along with the adult sopranos. When boys’ voices change, they sing alto, tenor and bass, according to their developing vocal ranges. Gathering on Wednesdays, the junior choristers (grades 3-5) meet from 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. and the senior choristers (grades 6-12) meet from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
The adult choir spans a wide intergenerational range and includes everyone from amateur singers to professional musicians. With more than 50 regular singers, the adult choir accepts new members throughout the year. The choir meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. and on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. for rehearsal prior to worship, with additional services and rehearsals during the academic year.
During the academic year, St. John's offers a service of Compline on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. in the candlelit church. This ancient monastic worship service is led by clergy and an all male choir and offers a meditative mix of Scripture, prayers, and sublime music. Membership in the Compline Choir is by audition - twice annually in August and January. New members are occasionally added at other times of the year when there are openings for Countertenor, Tenor, or Bass singers. A candidate should have experience as a choral musician and demonstrate his ability to sing and to blend with the choir. The candidate must be willing to devote Sunday evenings to singing the service and make it a high priority. If you have an interest in becoming a member, please contact Mike Norris, Compline Choir Director.
St. John's is blessed to have 14 hand-rung tower bells, collectively known as the Lewis Chime. Since 1915, the tower bells have been calling parishioners to worship, tolling for funerals, rejoicing after weddings, and providing a joyous sound during events and special occasions downtown. Read more about the bell tower’s history. St. John's Tower Bell Guild, established in 1975, is divided into four teams, with each team responsible for ringing before and after the 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday services one weekend a month. New ringers ages 12 and up are always welcome. No prior musical experience is necessary and training is available.
St. John's offers a program for 5- to 7-year olds who love to have fun with music. The Joyful Noisemakers class meets weekly on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., with a goal of inspiring and encouraging young children to explore, play, sing, and learn about music in a fun and informal setting. All children are welcome - parishioners or community members.
The Bach Parley String Academy offers violin, viola, and cello lessons with accomplished professional performing teachers. Classes are held weekly at St. John's Episcopal Church. The Bach Parley String Academy’s mission is to cultivate in young people an appreciation of and achievement in music, nurture positive character development, and bridge cultural divisions through the common language of music.
If you find that our choir or musician groups are not a fit for your schedule or your gifts, consider volunteering. We have many volunteers who do not sing, but simply love the St. John’s music program and want to support it. Volunteers provide invaluable assistance particularly with managing our choral library, accompanying choirs, cleaning and maintaining vestments, or assisting with mailings, publicity, special events and services, and fundraising. Days and times are flexible.
Each year during the month of June, rising 2nd through 8th graders come together for a week of music-making and fun. Led by professional music faculty, this five-day morning camp provides children with the opportunity to learn singing, ear-training, music theory, and history in a hands-on, participatory environment. In 2020, the camp was held via Zoom and included local, regional and even international students