St. Paul’s music ministry functions in three differing formats most Sundays.
At the 8 a.m service of Holy Eucharist which is held in the church, organ music supports worship. On Easter and during Christmas, the organ accompanies congregational singing.
Music at 9:30 a.m. Family Worship in the Great Hall, songs are accompanied by Susan Brown on the piano, guitar, and in summer outdoor worship, sometimes the accordion! The songs and music are an eclectic mix of traditional hymns, choruses, rounds, Taize selections. Additional instruments like tambourine, wood blocks, and drums are distributed to members of the congregation for accompaniment. This adds an opportunity for spontaneous involvement by all ages.
The 10:30 a.m. service of Holy Eucharist held in the church features musical leadership by the 22-member Adult Choir. Each month an additional ensemble is added to the mix: Men of St. Paul’s, Women of St. Paul’s, and St. Paul’s Choristers. Repertoire shared for Offertory anthems, introits, or Communion anthems range from 9th-century chant arrangements and medieval-Renaissance motets to Anglican fare, including Anglican Chant for the psalms, contemporary selections, African-American gospel, and ethnocentric selections. Anglican psalm chant, descants for hymns, acapella hymn singing, and liturgical movement all allow each worshipper to engage more fully in the experience of worship.
Accompaniment for the 10:30 a.m. service is played on the organ, recently refurbished by the Robert Faucher Organ Company in Biddeford, Maine, and the Clavinova. Seasonal services are highlighted by the use of string quartet at Christmas Eve and other instrumentalists throughout the year. Organ music used for Preludes and Postludes is chosen to fit the liturgical theme for the day and to provide a wide variety of keyboard music composed by pre-Bach composers to present-day living writers.
Ensembles of St. Paul’s
Adult Choir Membership is always open for this ensemble which serves weekly in worship from September till the end of June plus seasonal services such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and two services on Easter Sunday. Singers should be at least high school age and above. No audition is required. Rehearsal is Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. in the Choir Room also known as the “Upper Room.”
St. Paul’s Choristers When possible, our younger members from the 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. service are encouraged to gather four times a year for participation as a singing ensemble in worship. Families with children are welcome and will certainly help this area of ministry to grow. Again, no audition is required. Rehearsals are usually scheduled on Sunday mornings between services.
Summer Music @ St. Paul’s
For the past two summers Summer Music @ St. Paul’s has given opportunity for all singers of any age to have one Sunday in which to sing with an ensemble or to play an instrument. Two outdoor services have been led by Susan Brown (9:30 a.m. musician) on accordion. During these two months without the Adult Choir as regular worship leaders, all interested persons may join one of several pick-up groups: Men of St. Paul’s, Women of St. Paul’s, and VFF (Vestry, Family, and Friends) ensembles. Come on Sunday morning at 8:45 a.m. Rehearse for 30 minutes. Sing during the Offertory. No fuss, no muss. Friends, family, visitors, all are welcome to join for a one-time musical endeavor.
Nave @ 9 This program began as a way of offering more accessible rehearsal and warm-up times for the St. Paul’s Choristers, Men of St. Paul’s ensemble, and Women of St. Paul’s ensemble. Rehearsal is scheduled for 9-9:30 a.m. three Sundays a month. Just before fall programming begins, a schedule is sent out to all interested singers.
Evensong Every year St. Paul’s offers at least two Evensongs. We have prepared Evensong in tandem with the choir from Grace Episcopal Church in Bath, Maine, and invite any interested singers to participate.
Men of St. Paul’s This ensemble is open to any males high school age and up and involves singing for two services between September and June. Membership is open to existing choir members, parishioners, along with their friends and family. Rehearsal times will vary between some Wednesday night practices and 9-9:30 am on Sunday morning.
Women of St. Paul’s Mirroring the Men of St. Paul’s, all females high school age and up offer musical leadership in two services during the span from September to June. Rehearsals will be primarily on Sunday morning at 9-9:30 a.m.