By Jesse Ratcliffe, Director of Music
Why sing in the choir? Well…why not? Choral singing extends much further than meeting once a week to sing through the notes on the page. The Saint James’ choral experience is one of a strong community, music education and history, as well as leadership.
During the rehearsal we encourage each other as we tackle new music but also share and celebrate personal successes as well as prayerfully support each other during struggles. In harmony with the spiritual reinforcement a choir can bring, there are numerous research-proven benefits of choral singing – regulating heart rates; reduced stress and depression; and, remarkably, an aid to longevity.
The choir at Saint James’ is open to all skill levels and schedules. Each rehearsal dedicates time to train voices to sing and to read music. Additionally, the choir has numerous opportunities to sing even if dedicating every Thursday doesn’t fit your schedule. Furthermore, as we learn the numerous of individual pitches and rhythms we often question why a composer chose specific musical elements: Performance practice of that era? Cultural impact? Matching the text? A truly mystical moment choir members experience is the pairing of the finest religious poetry combined with magnificent melodies and harmonies. It is a religious experience to sing a monumental work such as Handel’s Messiah which marries the telling of Christ’s life with stunning compositional tools of the high Baroque.
One of the most vital elements of church choirs is their role in worship. Aside from the choral anthem, the choir serves to lead and inspire congregational singing for all the hymns and service music. The music for worship is practiced and sung with the same intentionality as the choral music.
If your interest has been piqued, join us! There’s always an open spot in the choir.
– Jesse Ratcliffe, Director of Music