St. Paul’s Music Department
has been presenting the gift music to God, our congregation, and the greater Rochester community for over 150 Years. Music is truly a gift from God; a gift that can be enjoyed and offered by people of all ages and backgrounds. Here are some opportunities for you and yours to join in St. Paul’s music program. Even if you decide to just listen and enjoy, you are still an integral part of this important ministry.
Harmony in the Hills offers an exciting lineup of concerts to the local community. Although some events are ticketed, many are free and offered at different times and days to accommodate busy schedules.
St. Paul’s Choir provides musical leadership at the 11 a.m. Sanctuary service. From Medieval to Classical, Romantic and Modern, from Southern Gospel to Contemporary Christian, Chancel Choir does it all. Rehearsals are Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Room 106. Dr. Cho, director.
Open Door Praise Band
St. Paul’s Open Door Band is open to all ages and leads worship for the Open Door Service at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays in Hickey Hall (outdoors in the summer).
Harmonics Praise Team
Harmonics Praise Team offers Vocalists and instrumentalists perform for the 9:30 a.m. Outdoor service and occasionally at other services. Rehearsals are scheduled as needed.
Wesley Ringers provide music on the third Sunday of each month, at the 11 a.m. Sanctuary service. Often combining with instrumentalists, vocalists, or choirs, the Wesley Ringers offer something just a bit different to God and our congregation in worship. They rehearse on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in Room 104 (the Bell Room). Al Fisk, director.
St. Paul's Orchestra
St. Paul’s Orchestra is a group of instrumentalists that gather for several celebration services throughout the year. Made up of musicians from the greater Rochester area and beyond, they always bring an awe inspiring aspect to any musical offering they join. Susan Clark Joul, coordinator.
St. Paul’s Organ
St. Paul’s sanctuary organ was custom designed and hand-built in 1989 by J.W. Walker & Sons Ltd. of Suffolk, England. When first built, St. Paul’s was in the midst of a $4.2 million expansion project and nearly one-third of the organ was left incomplete due to a lack of funds.
In 2005, the church raised the necessary funds to refurbish and complete the organ. In late June 2006, the organ was disassembled and silenced. It was completed and re-dedicated on Sunday, October 8, 2006. Complete, the organ is one of the premiere English pipe organs in Southeast Michigan, featuring three manuals, 42 stops and more than 3,000 pipes.
“The Walker mechanical-action organ at St. Paul’s is a treasure,” says Marilyn Mason, university organist and organ department chair at the University of Michigan School of Music. Mason served as consultant to St. Paul’s and Walker back in 1988 and 1989 when the organ was designed and first in-stalled. “It is a splendid instrument, crafted with variety in the various ‘stops’ or ‘registers,’ and has a beautiful tone.”
J.W. Walker & Sons, Ltd
While J.W. Walker & Sons Ltd. of Suffolk, England, traces its roots back to the 16th Century, it was officially named for Joseph William Walker in 1828.
The company has built mechanical-action pipe organs for cathedrals, music schools, churches, and even royalty. And while it’s not possible to count the number of organs the company has built and installed from Australia to Japan and Norway, it is in excess of 2,000.
The company’s organs range from the gallery organ at St. Martin in-the-Fields in London, England, to an organ in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, England, to the organ in the town hall in Adelaide, Australia. Perhaps the oldest surviving Walker organ is a small chamber organ dating from 1832, now in the company’s possession. The latest?
If you’re sitting in St. Paul’s Sanctuary in Rochester, Michigan, you just may be enjoying our organ now.
Visit J.W. Walker & Sons, Ltd: www.jwwalker.co.uk