The musical heritage of the Episcopal Church is one of the world's richest and most deeply spiritual musical traditions, and music is a central part of our liturgy at St. James.
Sacred music is a form of prayer and enables us to express that which is otherwise inexpressible. It enables us to touch the central depth of our humanness and opens a door that enables us to know the presence of God. Our beautiful liturgies for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost offer glorious music to assist in our yearly journey through Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection. St. James offers many ways to be a part of this musical tradition.
When We Return to Non-Pandemic Times:
- The St. James Adult Choir will meet on Thursday evenings (September through May) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The choir sings at both the 9:00 am and 11:15 am Sunday Eucharists. (Choir members traditionally sing at one or the other of these services - there is no expectation to sing at both services!).
- The "Summer Choir" will meet from May through the beginning of September, rehearsing at 9:45 a.m. for the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Eucharist.
There will be opportunities for children of all ages to sing and be featured at the 9:00 a.m. Family Worship.
Musical History of St. James Parish
Music provides food for the soul: It comforts, excites and gladdens in ways that no other art form can do. As such, music becomes part of the personal and corporate worship experience. We come to the liturgy offering praise,prayer, and thanksgiving, hoping to leave refreshed and nourished for the journey ahead. Learn more about the history and influence of organs in our organization.
The earliest existing reference to music at St. James was March 1812 when, by order of the vestry, pews were reserved "for the use of singers". Several attempts were made during the next 85 years to retain a choir for the parish. In March 1874 the vestry ordered music books for the choir at a cost of $25. Eleven years later the Rector was authorized to organize a choir, and by October of that year it was reported in The Morning Star newspaper that "the new surpliced choir, under the direction of Professor Frank Wright, was progressing nicely." In 1896 a choir was once again organized, this time under the direction of Edward H. Munson. At this point in the church's history, the choir consisted of boys, women, and men. In the year 1911, payment to the choir boys was discontinued and it appears that from this time forward the choir at St. James was a mixed ensemble.