A Trinity of Choirs

It was during the season after Easter and moving to Pentecost when everyone began realizing virtual worship was going to be an ongoing way of life for congregations and church choirs alike!

Three church musicians were discussing ways to re-engage their choirs and expand the musical possibilities for each. Marissa Hall, Director of Music at a small parish church in Cambridge, MA with a small choir, suggested combining forces with colleagues Betsy Calhoun at St. John’s, and Michael Corzine at First Presbyterian, Tallahassee. In the spring, when churches in Boston and around the country began closing, Marissa moved to Tallahassee, where her parents reside and where she served as a sacred music intern at St. John’s.

St. John’s Betsy Calhoun with Marissa Hall, St. Peter’s Episcopal – Cambridge, MA, and Michael Corzine, First Presbyterian – Tallahassee, during non-COVID times.

Marissa suggested a “Trinity of Choirs for Trinity Sunday,” for which choir members from those three churches would individually record a hymn from their homes, layering their voices atop an organ accompaniment sent to them digitally.

On Trinity Sunday – June 7, 2020 – nearly 50 singers from three choirs combined voices to sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” in a video played during virtual worship at all three churches. The result was beautiful! It also meant each church gained a much larger choir and a novel way to enliven the liturgy with a big hymn.

This combined choir approach initially required quite a bit of effort for each individual choir member, and for the editor of the final video, Marissa, who quickly developed new skills using sophisticated software. The three choir directors decided to join forces for the first Sunday of each month from that point forward!

On this first Sunday of December, for the occasion of three different services of Advent Lessons and Carols—one in Cambridge, MA, and two in Tallahassee—two hymns and an anthem will be sung by the three combined choirs. Join us for what promises to be a beautiful symphony of voices!

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