CONCERT & SPECIAL MUSIC l CHOIRS l CHILDREN'S MUSIC l CHIMERS l MUSIC STAFF
CONCERT & SPECIAL MUSIC
In addition to providing music for regular church worship, the Music Ministry also offers a series of concerts and special services held in the Sanctuary throughout the liturgical year. These events serve to augment worship opportunities at Messiah, as well as to broaden the range and variety of music available to our congregation and community.
The Chancel Choir
The Chancel Choir sings from September through June at the 9:30 a.m. Sunday service and at special services. The choir is comprised of congregation members, as well as one professional section leader for each voice part.
While the emphasis is placed firmly on music rooted in the Anglican musical tradition, Chancel Choir repertoire covers a broad range of musical influences and styles.
Chancel Choir rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. An additional rehearsal is held on Sunday morning from 8:30 - 9:10 a.m., prior to the regular 9:30 a.m. service.
In keeping with the strongly held belief that music serves as an aid to worship, the Messiah Music Ministry invites anyone who feels called to sing as part of their personal worship to become a part of the Chancel Choir. The members of the Choir are a widely divergent group with a variety of musical skill levels - while we have different amounts of musical training (ranging from none to a significant amount) and while we come from different backgrounds, we are united as a choir in the sense that we are here to make our very best contribution to the overall worship experience. Anyone age 14 and up is welcome in the Chancel Choir - our doors are always open to new members!
The Bell Choir
The Bell Choir rings from September through June at selected Sunday and special services throughout the liturgical year, sometimes by themselves and sometimes with the Chancel Choir. The Bell Choir has "found its voice" and has become an exciting part of the musical mix at Messiah.
Repertoire for the Bell Choir is drawn from a variety of sources, and includes arrangements of hymns, original pieces, and more. Performance degree of difficulty ranges from easy to moderate. As the Bell Choir continues to grow and develop its skills, the repertoire will continue to expand appropriately. As part of our efforts to develop our skills and understanding, the Bell Choir plans to take part in instructional seminars during the year.
Bell Choir rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. When the Bell Choir is scheduled to ring at a 9:30 a.m. Sunday service, an additional 8:30 - 9:10 a.m. rehearsal is included.
Bell ringers, regardless of experience, are encouraged to become a part of the Messiah Bell Choir, and novices are most welcome. The basics of bell-ringing are easily learned, and the resulting music-making is highly rewarding.
Kid's Beginner Guitar I (Wednesday, 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.) - Guitar basics for young beginners are taught from the very beginning, and students immediately go to work on learning their first song - many children can come home from their first lesson and play "Amazing Grace" for their proud parents and siblings. A little bit of fundamental music theory also manages to finds its way into the mix. We furnish the quality 3/4-size beginner guitar, which the young player gets to keep after they've attended 10 lessons. Age 7 and up.
Kid's Intermediate Guitar(Wednesday, 4:45 - 5:45 p.m.) – just as soon as our beginners have those guitar fundamentals down, it is time for them to jump into the deep end and join The Kid’s Band. In The Kid’s Band, we’ll keep learning more about how to play the guitar, but the focus will be on learning music which The Kid’s Band can play together in church, with a strong dose of popular songs and guitar riffs thrown in.
Adult Guitar I (Wednesday, 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.) - Free guitar lessons for not-as-young beginners are also offered. Guitar basics are taught from the very beginning, and students immediately go to work on learning their first song - many adults can come home from their first lesson and play "Amazing Grace" (or "Louie, Louie") for their proud spouses and/or offspring. A little bit of fundamental music theory also manages to finds its way into the mix. Learning and playing guitar is a great way to relax at the end of Wednesday's workday - bring your guitar and join in the fun! Age 14 and up.
Adult Band (Wednesday, 6:45 - 8:00 p.m.) – Guitar-playing adults are shown no special mercy here at Messiah, and so the idea is that, just like The Kid’s Band, as soon as the basics are under control, its time to join The Adult Band. In The Adult Band, we’ll keep learning more about how to play the guitar, but the focus will be on learning music which The Adult Band can play together in church, with a strong dose of popular songs and guitar riffs thrown in. My strong hope is to see The Adult Band evolve into a viable music worship vehicle at Messiah, in which any of our Messiah musicians can participate as they are able. All Messiah music-makers, whether you take lessons at Messiah or not, whether you’re on top of your musical game or if you’re rusty, are welcome to become a part of The Adult Band.
In conjunction with the Messiah Church School program, the Music Ministry fully participates in the musical education of our youngest members. Each segment of the Church School instructional program includes a music component which enables participating children to learn songs related to the segment's lesson. On a regular basis, children bring their songs to the 9:30 a.m. Sunday service to share them with the full congregation.
As an introduction to the primary principles of music, the Music Ministry also offers guitar lessons to our children. Participating students learn basic guitar chords and techniques, as well as preliminary music theory concepts. Group guitar lessons are currently held on Wednesday afternoons, from 4:00 - 5:45 p.m. Individual lessons may also be scheduled. Adult guitar classes are also available from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The Chimers of Messiah are a devoted group of church members who chime the tower bells before and after the 9:30 service every Sunday, and for special holidays as well. We now have 14 members, but are always eager to bring new people into the fold. Potential new chimers are invited to contact Fran Hillman or to speak with any chimer for more information.
Judge Charles Francis Gummey had not only served with distinction on the bench but also for many years on the Vestry at Church of the Messiah. At his death, a chime of 11 bells was placed in his memory in the Ingersoll Tower. Undaunted by the bitter cold, the congregation gathered at the base of the tower for the dedication early in January 1930.
Each bell was tolled individually...
* G — (the largest – 1600 lbs.) – Faith, Hope, Charity
* A — Patience
* B — Kindness
* C — Generosity
* C# - Humility
* D — Courtesy
* E — Unselfishness
* F — Good Temper
* F# - Guile
* G — Sincerity
* A — (the smallest) - Peace
The old year was rung out - the new year rung in.
The remaining three bells were given in honor of Henry McAdoo by his family on March 5, 1981 in celebration of his 65th birthday.
Rick Rosen (Minister of Music) directs chancel and bell choirs, participates in the Church school and Vacation Bible School programs, produces the Music at Messiah concert series, gives guitar lessons to children and adults, and otherwise coordinates the musical aspects of the church's worship. He is the founder/director of the New Hope-Solebury Community Choir, the founder/artistic director of male a cappella group Cordus Mundi, and teaches the New Hope-Solebury Free Library's Young Songwriters Clubs.
Prior to his return to Pennsylvania in 2003, Rick served as the Director of Music at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Burlingame, CA., where he also produced the Choral Music in Depth and Summer Sings programs, as well as the St. Paul's Presents concert series. Rick's California vocal performance career is highlighted by work as the founder of the original west coast-based male a cappella group Cordus Mundi, as well as an extended singing stint with the San Francisco Concert Chorale, where he served as men's section leader for five years and president of the executive committee for three years. During his tenure as SFCC president, the group recorded two CDs, and toured Mexico and France.
Rick has worked under the tutelage of several renowned musicians including Rene Clausen, Anton Armstrong, Patty Hennings, and Blanche Honegger-Moyse.
He is also the owner of the Rick Rosen Marketing Group, a full service marketing and consulting agency, with a wide range of clients in the musical instrument, music performance and production, computer, and related industries.
Hannah Albrecht has been the organist at Church of the Messiah since 2008, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. Throughout college, she studied organ with Clair Rozier, and piano with Matt Bengtson and Curt Cacioppo. She also became interested in composition, and several of her works for organ, piano, and voice have debuted at Messiah.
Hannah has continued her music education through the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College, where she has had inspiring master classes with organists Patrick Allen and James David Christie, as well as introductions to the harpsichord and Baroque dance. Hannah's work as an accompanist includes several concerts and rehearsals for all-male a capella group Cordus Mundi. She also is the administrative assistant for Philadelphia Sinfonia youth orchestra.