Each of the choral ensembles at Grace Church is intergenerational and open to anyone who is able to make the schedule commitments. We believe that there is much for each age group to learn from and appreciate about the other and that working together as equals provides us a chance to live out the creed from the baptismal covenant “to respect the dignity of every human being.”
Evidence also shows that musical performance and the practice and learning of musical skills can enhance young people’s ability to focus and can be helpful in promoting habits that will be beneficial to them and others throughout their lives.
Grace Church Choir
The Grace Church Choir is the principal choral ensemble of the parish. The choir sings for the 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist most Sundays from the week after Labor Day through the middle of June. The choir also sings on Christmas Eve, and for the Triduum (Maundy Thursday Eucharist with Washing of the Feet, Good Friday three-hour service, Easter Vigil and Easter Day). Each season the choir also prepares a series of “Sunday at 5” services. These liturgies consist of Choral Evensong and a set of sequences of readings and music for Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Candlemas, Passiontide, Eastertide, The Presentation and All Saints/All Souls.
The Grace Church Choir rehearses weekly — the treble section separately and together with the adults.
During the course of each season the choir sings approximately 140 pieces of music composed between the 12th and 21st Centuries.
Grace Church Singers
This ensemble sings during the 10 a.m. Eucharist approximately 14 times each year during the months between September and June. The group sings for Christmastide Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. on the first Sunday of January and joins with the Grace Church Choir to sing on the Sunday of the Annual Meeting of the parish in February.
Rehearsals for Sunday services take place before the liturgy – at 8:45 a.m. – and the music sung consists of three or four hymns, a psalm, service music, and one or two anthems. Most of the choral music is traditional in style. The membership is quite stable though anyone is welcome to join us for any of the services we sing.
The Summer Choir provides musical leadership and choral offerings for the 10 a.m. Eucharist each Sunday from late June through the Labor Day weekend. Like the other Grace Church choirs, it is multigenerational and is open to anyone who would like to participate.
Participants make a week-by-week commitment, with the only requirement being attendance at the 9 a.m. Sunday morning rehearsal on the Sundays when they would like to sing. The Summer Choir does not wear vestments – a real benefit given that the church can be quite toasty during July and August!
During the course of the summer the group sings hymns, a psalm, and a variety of service music from the Hymnal 1982 and Wonder, Love, and Praise. The style of music changes from week to week and can range from Baroque and Southern Harmony to Spirituals, from Victorian and Edwardian to Tudor, and folk tunes from areas of the world as diverse as China, Pakistan and Africa. Thanks to the Summer Choir we have choral music at the 10 a.m. Eucharist every Sunday of the year.
In addition to regular musical accompaniment by organ and piano, members of our community have offered their gifts as instrumentalists – both as members of an ensemble and individually in a variety of venues from parish social gatherings to Sunday morning and Taize prayer services. Instruments played recently include violin, viola, flute, recorder, trumpet, French horn, clarinet, guitar, harp, harmonica, handbells, tower bells and African drums.
Further information about the Grace Church music program is available from Mark Johnson 401-330-6787. We are eager to welcome new members to each of our choirs and are happy to explore ways for instrumentalists to offer their gifts.