Music at Epiphany
Music at Epiphany is a vital part of the life of the church. From robust congregational singing, mighty sounds from an outstanding, newly-restored organ, to stirring anthems, solos, and instrumental ensembles, worship at Epiphany utilizes music to underscore the message and uplift the spirit.
At the center of the music program at Epiphany is our outstanding Chancel Choir: a volunteer group open to everyone high school age and older. There is no audition. The choir rehearses and participates in worship from September until Pentecost. Soloists and ensembles often provide special music during this â€œvacation season.â€
The choir specializes in preparing music of the Sacred Harp and other early American hymnody as well as the standard anthems of the Christian liturgy.Â Each season, the choir will present major works at the Christmas season or at Lent/Easter. Their repertory has included â€œGloria,â€ John Rutter; â€œCeremony of Carols,â€ Benjamin Britten; â€œCrucifixion,â€ John Stainer; â€œSeven Last Words Of Christ,â€ Theodore Dubois; â€œMessiah,â€œ George Handel; â€œChristmas Oratorio,â€ Camille Saint-Saens; â€œAmahl and the Night Visitors,â€ Menotti. Search â€œEpiphany UCCâ€ on youtube.com to hear our choir.
A bass in our choir has this comment:
The famous cartoonist Charles Schulz inspired a musical where Charlie Brown and his friends described their fondest experiences in a song called "Happiness."Â The simplest measures of contentment were held up in an ensemble, each cast member chiming in on queue " HAPPINESS IS TWO KINDS OF ICE CREAM. KNOWING A SECRET. CLIMBING A TREE."Â Â Those of us who have the privilege of participating in bringing music into the strirring services at Epiphany know that feeling as each week we reflect on a little different aspect of our faith throughÂ music.Â Â Sometimes it is pensive, sometimes joyful.Â It is never disconnected, whether it is a classical work from Mozart,Â an enduring anthem like â€œHow Firm a Foundation,â€ or a Southern ballad.Â It's a way to form an ensemble with our brothers and sisters and a way to step beyond the circle, reaching out to our congregation and all who are present during worship.Â It's a place where fellowship extends beyond Sunday and we share in each other's joys and burdens.Â Â Some things make you want to sing out about the goodness of God - HAPPINESS ISÂ - AÂ SPOT IN THE CHOIR LOFT.
And from an alto in our choir:
The choir at Epiphany not only gives me an outlet to express myself musically, but a community of wonderful people that enhance my experience as an Epiphany member. I enjoy learning and singing the selected music which accurately assesses the choir'sÂ talents and allows us to sing unique, heartfelt compositions.Â Sometimes we may at first think an anthem or larger work is beyond our abilities. Yet we have the confidence that with practice and dedication we can make it work. My time with the choir fulfills me in ways that the rest of my week cannot. I feel closer to God when I sing, and choir provides that outlet.
The organ at Epiphany was restored in 2009 and re-dedicated to the â€œglory of Godâ€ in the spring of 2010. It was first installed in 1931 by Hinners of Pekin, Illinois. The restoration way completed by Fowler Organ Company of Lansing, Michigan.
Childrenâ€™s Music is directed by Karen Troy and Larry Blustain and takes place as a part of our Sunday School Program on Sunday mornings. The children sing in worship periodically during the year. Presently, they are preparing the childrenâ€™s musical, â€œCool In The Furnaceâ€ by Buryl Red. It is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo and their fate at the hands of Nebuchanezzar. It will be presented in May of 2011.
The Epiphany Musicians is a loosely formed group of those who play musical instruments and wish to share this with the congregation.Â Recently, the Epiphany Strings performed the haunting â€œAdagio for Strings and Organâ€ by Tomasso Albinoni. We also have handbells for those interested. Our strong contingent of jazz musicians allows us to utilize this resource throughout the year. Periodically, a jazz trio will accompany worship to give an added dimension.
Epiphany is a congregation that loves strong and vibrant congregational singing whether it be a centuries-old hymn, a gospel song, or a spiritual. It is a congregation that enjoys great choral music and the sounds of childrenâ€™s voices. Our services blend traditional hymnody with more current styles, according to the needs of the liturgy. Each week brings wonderful and inspiring sounds.
If you are interested in being a part of our music program, please contact Joe Burt. Everyone is welcome, so come be a part of making a joyful noise together.
The Chancel Choir rehearses each Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Feel free to stop by and â€œtry us out.â€ Worship is 10:30 a.m.