Music at St. Andrew's takes many different forms and shapes, all with the same intention of enhancing our gathering together and worship experience. Please contact our Music Director, Susan Armstrong, if you would like to know more about, or participate in, any aspect of the Music Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From September through June, choir rehearses and presents music weekly. Beginning with Welcome Sunday in September, the seasons of the church calendar and the life of our gatherings allow the choir many opportunities to create a diversity of music. From a celebratory Easter Anthem, to a Taize chant or reflective Lenten Communion piece, from a Gospel Alleluia during Winter Green to an organ accompanied Psalm, Senior Choir delights in presenting the messages of the Scriptures in song.
However, this is by no means a closed group! We welcome anyone of middle school age or older to join, asking only a willingness to learn and a joyful attitude towards making music. New members may join any time, but need to be able to commit, as much as possible, to weekly practice and rehearsal. There is usually a gathering and "sing-through" of each new season's music at the beginning of the season, which is a good opportunity for new and current members to get an idea of upcoming pieces. Often we meet in a member's home and enjoy a meal and dessert with our singing.
St. Andrews has the privilege of not one, but two historic tracker organs. The instrument on the floor is an E. & G.G. Hook & Hastings, Opus 714, built 1873 and installed in 1874. While small, with only one manual and a straight pedal board, it is tonally vibrant and can lead the worship with everything from the gentle 8' Stopped Diapason to the brilliant Sesquialtera. Over the years it has undergone many renovations, including the restoration of its golden oak case and stenciled front pipes, the replacement of its original hand pump wind supply with an electric system, and tonal revisions. In the early 1970's, many pipes were replaced with new ranks purchased from Anderson of Brattleboro and Kaes of West Germany, for the purpose of "finer tone, greater versatility, better clarity, and more brilliance." The pedals were recapped with teak and hard maple, and the instrument was tuned in a meantone temperament. A celebratory concert was held in December, with Mr. John Skelton presenting works of Swellinck, Frescobaldi, Bach, Purcell and others. Extensive cleaning and restoration work was done in 1999 by Andover Organ Company. At this time a proposal was made to add a second manual to the instrument, which would include a Dulciana and a Principal stop, among others. A more moderate proposal was accepted which included stripping the case, which was then painted, and restoring its natural finish, re-stenciling the facade pipes, and releathering the reservoir.
In the balcony is another tracker organ, a Henry Erben, which has been disassembled and moved numerous times during its long lifetime. It was lifted into the balcony by crane, and includes ranks which provide some of the tonalities lacking in the main organ. While only having an 8' in the pedal, it is not suited to leading hymn singing, but can be used for solo organ works. When tuned together, the two instruments create a wonderful opportunity for organ duets!