The choirs of St. John’s sing 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.
Sunday School Choir
Children enrolled in Sunday School work with the music staff to prepare special musical offerings for Youth Sundays.
St. Nicholas Choir
Grades 2-6 – These children rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 4:45-6:00 and sing on all Sunday mornings. Members can participate in Sunday School and join with the choir at the Offertory, or they can choose to sing the entire service with the choir. They also sing at many of the special musical services, such as Choral Evensong and Christmas Eve. Participation in the St. Nicholas Choir also involves regular work through the Royal School of Church Music training program. Choristers learn music literacy, vocal production, and also develop their understanding of the Christian faith and tradition.
Grades 7-12 – “Cantemus” is Latin for “Let Us Sing.” The youth members of our choir program work on much of the same music as the adult singers. They rehearse on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm. They sing on Sunday mornings for the 10:00 am service, as well as special musical services.
St. John’s Choir
Adults – The adult section of the choir rehearses on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm and sings for the 10:00 am Sunday Eucharist. Approximately once each month the choir also sings for a special musical service, often Choral Evensong, in the 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 for adults is arranged through the choirmasters 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 by audition with the Choirmaster. 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 arrange an audition, email Robert Ludwig at Choirmaster@StJohnsBangor.org.
Special Musical Services and Concerts
Sunday, January 14, 2018, 4 pm – Martin Luther King Jr Service
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 7 pm – Ash Wednesday, Sung Eucharist
Sunday, March 4, 2018 4 pm – Choral Evensong
Thursday, March 29, 2018, 7 pm – Maundy Thursday
Friday, March 30, 2018 7 pm – Good Friday
Sunday, April 1,2018, 8 & 10 am – Easter Day
Sunday April 15, 2018, 4 pm – Choral Evensong
Sunday, May 20, 2018, 4 pm – Alumni Choral Evensong
Sunday, October ?, 2018, 4 pm – Choral Evensong
Friday, November 2, 2018, 7 pm – All Souls Requiem
Sunday, December 2, 2018. 4 pm – Advent Lessons and Carols
Many of our Special Musical Services here at St. John’s are an important part of our Outreach efforts.
100 % of the donations received at these events go to benefit the following community partners:
• February 5 – Penquis Community Action
Program for Heating and Fuel Assistance
• March 26 – Ronald McDonald House
• Apr 14 – Charitable Work in the Holy Land
• May 21 – Fred Jones Music Fund
Important Liturgical Dates:
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – Ash Wednesday
Sunday, March 25, 2018 – Palm Sunday
Thursday, March 29, 2018 – Maundy Thursday
Friday, March 30, 2018 – Good Friday
Saturday, March 31, 2018 – Easter Eve
Sunday, April 1, 2018 – Easter Day
Sunday, May 20, 2018 – Day of Pentecost
The Royal School of Church Music
Our choirs at St. John’s are 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: www.rscmamerica.org