Saint John's Episcopal Church
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Music at Saint John's Episcopal Church
Pictured above: Members of the Saint John's Chancel Choir with
participants from the Memphis Boychoir Summer Camp (July 2010)
SAINT JOHN'S CHANCEL CHOIR
The Saint John's Chancel Choir started rehearsing in June 2008 and currently rehearses Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9:00 pm in the choir room. The Chancel Choir sings for the 10:30 Holy Eucharist every Sunday. The Choir leads the congregational singing and enhances the Eucharistic celebration through the singing of anthems, Anglican Chant, psalmody, as well as leading Choral Evensong, Feast of the Epiphany, Ascension Day and other special service music. Previous choral experience and a basic musical knowledge are helpful, but not required. If you would like to add your voice to our choir, please contact Saint John's Organist and Choirmaster Dr. Geoffrey Ward at 901-323-8597, extension 26, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click below to experience "Amazing Grace" from the Kirkin' O The Tarten (January 30, 2011)
MUSIC DEPARTMENT HISTORY
Saint John's Episcopal Church is blessed with a rich music tradition dating back to the years when the congregation was still housed in the wood frame church at Semmes and Spottswood. Mrs. Forest McGinley held the responsibilities of organist & choirmaster for sixteen years beginning in 1930. Near the time of the construction of the current church building on Central and Greer, Saint John’s secured the services of Fergus O’Connor, a faculty member at the College of Music at Southwestern (now Rhodes College) who had previously been organist for Queen’s College in Oxford, England. Mr. O’Connor organized and directed a Boys’ Choir at Saint John’s in 1947 which sang for Sunday Services and even undertook a tour to England. The original Moeller pipe organ was installed in the new church in 1949, a gift to the parish by the Humphreys family.
In 1950 the church called Mr. Richard T. White as organist & choirmaster. Mr. White served with distinction for thirty-six years, maintaining high-quality adult and children’s choirs and overseeing an expansion of the organ in 1971. An active parishioner to this day, he is the official “organist/choirmaster emeritus” of Saint John’s church. Mr. John P. Ayer came to Saint John’s in 1986 and served for seventeen years. He was the founding director of the Memphis Boychoir and the Memphis Chamber Choir, both resident at Saint John’s. www.memphisboychoir.org These two civic choirs have gained an international reputation for excellence and have recorded numerous CDs. In 1990 the organ was rebuilt and further enlarged by the Reuter organ company. As it exists today, the organ boasts forty ranks distributed across three manual divisions plus pedal. Dr. Geoffrey Harris Ward commenced duties as Choirmaster and Organist at Saint John's in July, 2006.