About Music Ministry
The Music Ministry at St. Michael’s is a strong and vital part of the life of the church. It incorporates individualized vocal training, choir retreats, outreach to other communities both local and abroad and a sense of true ministry to all in leading and inspiring our worship together of Almighty God. The choir has sung in the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., and in several Cathedrals in England, including Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s. Entrance into all groups, except Angels Choir, is by a simple audition. The Music Department year generally runs from the first Sunday in September through the second Sunday in June.
Choirs and Musical Groups
The music program at St. Michael’s comprises four singing groups and four instrumental groups. The program is directed by Andrew Walker, B. Mus. He received his training at Portsmouth Cathedral and London University. The music used at St. Michael’s is taken from a wide variety of periods, styles, and countries. The ability to read music at some level is definitely a “plus”, though not impossible to learn “on the job”. To join one of the first three Singing Groups, simply show up at a rehearsal, and see what we do. If you like what you see, commit for a month, and then decide whether or not to stay. To join one of the Instrumental Groups, please contact the Director of Music.
UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 18, 2020
Music Department 2.0 – “Church Music Ministry in a Covid-19 World”
Please contact the Music Director for details of the activities and operation of the Music Department as we live and work thru this Pandemic.
THE SINGING GROUPS
A committed group of singers who rehearse one time during the week and sing each Sunday during the Music Dept. year. The choir is made up of High School singers thru retired folks, with a wide variety of musical experience and knowledge represented. This choir also offers Scholarships to High School and College age students in the area. Retreats are held twice a year.
A group of children, boys and girls together, aged first/second grade (good readers) thru middle school. The choir rehearses twice a week, sings each Sunday of the Dept. year, and also sings the service of Evensong one Wednesday each month, Sept. thru May. Private training is offered to each member using the Voice for Life Chorister Training Scheme of the Royal School of Church Music. Medals and ribbons are awarded as the choir member passes the various levels. Two retreats a year are organized for this choir.
A choir for children aged birth thru first grade. They rehearse once a week for half an hour, and sing once a month in church before a Sunday Service. The accent is on the fun and enjoyment of singing together, including Christian songs, action songs, traditional children’s songs, and even songs from other countries!
A group of singers from the Adult Choir who desire to sing more challenging material. Entrance is by audition. The group sings mainly “a cappella” (unaccompanied) music of the 16th, 17th, 20th, and 21st centuries. They rehearse once a week, and sing once or twice a month during communion. Occasionally they will be the choir for a whole Sunday service.
Open to all members of the parish skilled and brave enough on guitar or on an orchestral/band instrument to play along with hymns and other items during church services.
Open to all members of the parish of all ages, who can, at the minimum, read and “one finger” a melody on a keyboard. We have an electronic carillon, controlled by a standard piano-like keyboard.
St. Michael’s Band
There have been many “permutations” of the St. Michael’s Band over the past many years. At present we have a guitarist, electric bass player, and drummer who occasionally play for the 10:15 service. We have occasionally had these same instruments, except (due to space available) the percussion is “hand percussion” as opposed to a drum-kit, for the 6:00 Sunday service in the chapel. We are always looking for new folks to join either of these groups – including additional lead-singers at the 6:00 service.
This group is not in operation at the moment, but may well be revived in the future. It was formed to occasionally provide additional instrumental sounds for the 10:15 services, and at festival services such as All Saints, and Pentecost. Using a standard Yamaha type electronic keyboard, and players who, whilst they may not be able to play two hands at once, do have the skills to play ONE hand, we have been able to produce a brass quartet and timpani, a string quartet, and there is the potential to have a wind quintet, plus whatever other acceptable sounds there are on the keyboards. It is another opportunity for members of the parish who may have had a little piano training in their youth, to experience the joy of making music with others.