As summer winds down and the fall approaches, we begin to think of moving back into our larger worship space, and to having our choir sing regularly again. And of course, this year, we look forward to our first services with our new pastor, J. C. Cadwallader. Our first choir rehearsal this season will be at 7:00 PM on Wednesday,
September 6, and we will sing at the opening service in the sanctuary on September 10. Our regular rehearsal times are Wednesdays at 7:00 and Sundays at 9:30; members can come to either rehearsal, or both. Some music to look forward to this fall: one piece from the Lutheran Reformed tradition, and one from the Calvinist, on Reformation Sunday (this year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation); a Mendelssohn chorus or two; some fun introits; a couple of spirituals and gospel songs; new music for Advent and Christmas.… Continue
Music will be central in all of our worship services between now and Easter. Here is some of the music that the choir will be singing:
Sunday, April 2
Our service on this Sunday will be enriched by special music by Mendelssohn. Most importantly, the choir, with our own Rory Latham, will present Felix Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, a short cantata for soprano and chorus written in 1844 and premiered in London in 1845. There is a long tradition of the soprano solo being sung by an unchanged boy’s voice, and we are fortunate to have Rory Latham, an 8th-grade student at the Foote School, and son of Fiona Scott-Morton and Steve Latham, as our soloist.… Continue
Lent is a time for reflection, and the choir will be singing music to encourage that reflection over the next few Sundays. On March 5 the choir will sing “The Handiwork of God,” by Mark Miller. Mark teaches at
Drew University and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He’s the director of the Gospel Choir at ISM. He’s many a valuable addition to the gospel tradition, including a musical setting of “The Lord’s Prayer” that we’ve sung a
number of times at FPCNH. He wrote both the lyrics and the music for “The Handiwork of God;” the opening lines give a sense of what it says and does:
Stitched together piece by piece,
Sewn with purpose and with care,
Scraps once thought to have no worth
Now become a sacred treasure.
Our annual Advent/Christmas musical service will take place, as always, on the Third Sunday of Advent, which this year is December 11. The music will be more spread out through the service than it has been in the past few years.
We will begin with Eugene Smith reading the creation story in the words of James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones, followed by a haunting musical realization of the text “Spirit Moving Over Chaos.” The choral music will still center on the sermon time, though, in which we will alternate scriptural readings—readings that tell the Advent and Christmas story from Old Testament prophecy to the birth of Jesus–with musical commentary in choruses and carols.… Continue
The sanctuary will ring with music this October. Our auspicious beginning will be Christopher McCloskey’s ordination service on Saturday, October 1. The choir will sing Mendelssohn’s “How Lovely Are the Messengers that Preach Us the Gospel of Peace,” and we’ll sing joyous hymns appropriate to the occasion. Our organist/director (Pat McCreless has another obligation that day) will be Henry Parkes, a superb British musicologist and keyboardist who teaches music history, especially that of the medieval period, at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Department of Music. (He was the pianist for the London Symphony before coming to Yale two years ago!).… Continue