It is clear that music was seen as vital as early as 1845 given that Richard Upjohn’s design of the present church provided for an organ. The Grace Church Choir has played an active and important role in parish life since 1855. We regularly hear from and occasionally are visited by former choristers who in the course of their reminiscence about their time in the Grace Church Choir uniformly speak of the impact that it has had on their lives.
All the music in our worship is offered to the glory of God, and through God’s gift of music we seek to contribute to the worship experience at Grace Church. Our music program provides opportunities for all to participate in and experience the transcendent power of liturgically appropriate offerings of many periods and styles.
We believe that liturgy is truly the work of the people. As such, our essential and largest ensemble is our congregation. We also believe that (as St. Augustine is credited with saying) “He who sings prays twice.” Because of this we seek to find ways of encouraging all to make a joyful noise in the singing of hymns, psalms and service music. The hymns we sing are often familiar and sometimes new and challenging. They are chosen to commemorate a particular season or feast and/or reflect upon or illuminate a text from the lectionary of the day. We sing the psalms and the service music together each week, varying the settings on a seasonal basis to help punctuate the rhythm of the church year.
In addition to our congregational singing, Grace Church supports an active choral program. We believe that working together as a community to bring sacred texts to life through musical performance is one viable means of Christian Formation.