Music at St. John’s

Choirs · Special Musical Services & Concerts · The Royal School of Church Music


The choir of St. John’s sings an extensive and wide repertoire from medieval plainsong to newly composed music of the 21st century. The choral repertoire list provides a complete listing of the anthems and service music sung during the past several years.  In addition to this music, the choir sings the Sunday Eucharist and Choral Evensong psalms to Anglican chant, plainsong, or simplified Anglican chant.

The choir rehearses September through June on Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 pm and sings for the 10:00 am Sunday Eucharist. The choir also sings for a special musical services, often Choral Evensong, on a Sunday afternoon. Services on the major Holy Days of the church, such as Christmas Eve, Holy Week, and Easter Day also involve the musical leadership of the choir. Chorister training is arranged through the Music Director on an individual basis at convenient times. The Choir of Saint John’s Episcopal Church  is always looking for additional singers to augment the excellent existing choir.

  • The choir sings approximately 150 different anthems and canticles each year in one of the finest acoustic settings in Bangor.
  • Music by Lassus, Palestrina, Tallis, Victoria, Byrd, Gibbons, Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruckner, Fauré, Elgar, Stanford, Parry, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Howells, Rorem, Rutter, Chilcott, Tavener and many others.
  • Singers are welcome in all parts. We are a team of skilled volunteers and membership is with a one-on-one meeting with the Choir Director.
  • The most essential skills are a good ear to match pitch, a commitment to blended choral singing, and an understanding of teamwork. Members should have basic music reading skills and an enthusiasm for choral singing. They need to have voices that can blend with others and stay in tune.
  • Singers do not need to be a member of the parish or the Episcopal Church. They do need to have an awareness and desire to be a part of our rich religious tradition that involves music (often sung in foreign languages), liturgy, and scripture. Singers need to be comfortable in the choir’s role of helping lead worship.
  • Members need to be willing to make a commitment to weekly attendance at rehearsals and services. The choir’s schedule roughly follows the academic year, with some volunteers continuing to sing during the summer.
  • For more information or to join, email Colin Graebert

Special Musical Services and Concerts


Our choir offers Evensong and other seasonally appropriate services and concerts throughout the academic year.
These will be posted here as they become available.

The Royal School of Church Music

Our choir at St. John’s is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music, an international organization based in England, but with an American branch, that encourages excellence in church music. The RSCM was founded in England in 1927 by Sir Sydney Nicholson, organist of Westminster Abbey. Originally called the School of English Church Music, the organization consisted of a training college for church musicians and an association of churches committed to attaining high standards of musical performance.

It has since evolved into an international and ecumenical organization whose primary goal is to promote the use of music to enhance Christian worship. It does this by providing educational opportunities to church musicians and choristers as well as by developing and making available a practical training scheme which covers basic music reading skills, voice production, mentoring and team building, and equally importantly, Christian education.

One of the main impacts of the RSCM has been through its encouragement of younger singers – through the training program administered on the parish level (like our regular training sessions leading to the awarding of ribbons for reaching certain levels) and on the national level with summer training courses scattered around the country. These week-long sleepover courses take place in a variety of different settings – some rural, some urban – but all have in common superb musical leadership and the unique opportunity of sharing spiritual music making with peers from other churches around the region and country. I have always found that choristers return from a week at RSCM camp with renewed enthusiasm, fun stories, and further developed musicianship. In recent years our St. John’s choristers have attended RSCM courses in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

RSCM in America: