Music Ministry Updates from Jesse Ratcliffe

To the people of Saint James’, I give my sincere thanks for the vestry resolution presented to me and the music program last month. It is an honor to serve as organist and music director at Saint James’. I am most grateful for the hard work and dedication of everyone in the adult choir, handbells, and youth chorale as they lift their talents to God to provide inspiration and encouragement to the member s of Saint James’ and beyond.


Festival Eucharist on April 24

On April 24 we will celebrate a Festival Eucharist at the 10:15 service. The adult choir, accompanied by a string quartet, will offer Franz Schubert‘s Mass in G for the service music (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei) and Beethoven‘s monumental Hallelujah Chorus for the anthem. Handel‘s Organ Concerto in F, Op. 4 No. 4, will serve as the prelude. This four movement concerto showcases many colors of the organ as well as beautiful harmonies between the strings and organ.

Despite Schubert’s short life, born in 1797 and died in 1828, his musical output was tremendous. The Mass in G was composed in less than a week in 1815 and features brief solo passages for soprano and baritone. Most remarkable about this piece is the religious sensitivity versus a concert context.

The Hallelujah Chorus is the final movement from Beethoven’s only oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives which depicts the last days of Christ from Gethsemane to the cross. The work was completed in the fall of 1802 and performed in April 1803 at Theater an der Wien in Vienna.


Saint James’ Youth Chorale

The Saint James’ Youth Chorale is a vibrant ministry that connects members of Saint James’ church and school. Currently we have 13 members who have worked very hard to offer beautiful music for various Celtic services, Evensongs, the Christmas concert and Chorale concerts.

On April 16th the chorale will travel to Busch Gardens to participate in Music in the Parks, an adjudicated event at which they’ll perform two pieces and be judged for musical quality in addition they will hear other groups of their age.

Their spring concert, Music Around the World is scheduled for May 10th at 7PM. This program will feature sacred works from the Americas, Africa, Japan, and the Middle East. I encourage you support this vibrant group of young musicians.

Jesse Ratcliffe
Jesse Ratcliffe is Organist, Choirmaster and Director of Music at Saint James’ Warrenton. He can be reached at