The Ministry of Music serves the congregation through leadership in Christian worship, education, outreach, and fellowship, and represents the congregation through musical witness to the community. Music has always provided the people of God a natural and satisfying way to express their praises. The Ministry of Music assists every member of the congregational family in presenting an offering of praise, and it provides training and fellowship for those who use their musical gifts as choir members and instrumentalists.
You are invited to share your gifts and be a part of the Ministry of Music. For a current rehearsal schedule of all the groups, see the calendar listing in the weekly bulletin. Persons wishing to join the Chancel Choir, Children’s Choir or Bell Choir should contact Julie Evans at 202-363-2202 to determine the best placement. Instrumentalists and those in other related arts are encouraged to let Julie know of their availability.
Our choir system is at the heart of our music program. Although the primary function of choirs is to lead the congregation in worship, choir members frequently find that their own worship takes on a deeper meaning through their musical expression. Choristers also find that their lives are enriched by increased knowledge of the art of singing, by improved musicianship, and by deeper acquaintance with numerous works of sacred music.
Christian fellowship within each choir is a source of strength, encouragement, and pleasure, and each group has social events from time to time to reinforce this fellowship and to balance the commitment to rehearsals.
Chancel Choir (ninth graders and above) rehearses weekly and sings every Sunday at the 11 a.m. worship service, including presenting a cantata or major musical masterwork at one or two musical worship services each season. Additional singing includes special Christmas and Holy Week services and several concerts featuring major cantatas or oratorios accompanied by orchestra, sometimes combining with another choir. In order to have a well-rounded repertory, the Chancel Choir studies and performs a cross-section of music from all periods, from ancient plainsong to the most contemporary music.
Junior Choir (third through eighth graders) rehearses one hour each week and sings at worship services approximately once a month. Choristers learn about rhythms, melodies, music notation, and form. Part-singing is introduced through rounds; hymns and anthems appropriate to this age level are taught; tone quality is developed. The Junior Choir sings sings for one or two other special programs, sometimes including an outside engagement.
Carol Choir (kindergarteners through second graders) rehearses 45 minutes each week and sings at worship services approximately once a month. Choristers learn the basics of rhythm and melody, learn simple hymns and anthems and learn to match pitches and project the tone.
The First Service Singers is a vocal ensemble that leads music in a more contemporary style at first service.
The Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, and instrumental ensembles are organized throughout the year on an ad hoc basis. Please contact Julie Evans for information about these ensembles.
Contact Julie Vidrick Evans, Director of Music, for more information.
The Chevy Chase Handbell Ringers present programs for outside groups, as well as playing in services at the church. They rehearse weekly and enjoy occasional social functions as well. They ring a five-octave set of Whitechapel English handbells and a three-octave set of Malmark choir chimes.
Contact Joann Moorer, Assistant Director of Music, for more information.
The Revelations is a guitar and vocal group that leads worship during the first service about once a month, presents informal evening Coffee Houses, and plays for some church social events. Additional players of guitar, bass guitar, drums and keyboard are welcome.
Church School Music
Under the leadership of Joann Moorer, Assistant Director of Music, the church school children have a time of music on Sunday mornings right before their classes. This ensures that those who are not in a choir receive at least some musical and singing experience each week.
Our Memorial Organ enhances our worship and music-making. Built by Rieger of Austria and installed in 1975, it is a three-manual, 40-stop (50-rank) tracker organ containing over 2,500 pipes, encased in wood and glass. It was dedicated to the glory of God and to the service of the entire church and community, with the understanding that it be made available for workshops, recitals, concerts, competitions, demonstrations, practice, and lessons, in addition to leading worship. In 2000, it underwent a major cleaning and refurbishing, including the addition of three 32’ digital pedal stops by Walker.
Other musical resources include the rebuilt 100-year-old Steinway grand piano Model B in the sanctuary (a fine, recital-quality instrument), other pianos, a 7’ harpsichord (in the style of a 17th century Italian harpsichord), a Kurzweil 88-note electric keyboard, a pair of Ludwig timpani, Deagan symphonic orchestral chimes, a collection of Studio 49 Orff instruments, a pair of full-sized congas, and various percussion instruments.