A Brief History of the Pipe Organ and Church, by Jesse Ratcliff
The most attention-grabbing object in the church, aside from stained glass windows is the pipe organ. With its commanding appearance and rapturous tone, it’s difficult to ignore. In worship, its primary job is to lead hymns and accompany the choir. The prelude, on the other hand, though not integral to the service, is sometimes the most overlooked role of the organ.
The history of the prelude is extensive, but has always held an important role in regards to worship. In the Baroque era, (1600-1750) Bach utilized the prelude as a means of conveying a chorale/hymn melody to the congregation. He utilized numerous compositional tools to enhance the chorale text.
Continue reading “Message from the Choirmaster: 2017 Summer Newsletter”
In 1982, the late Jeanne Davis compiled personal reminiscences of Saint James’ congregants, mostly elder, as part of a nationwide Episcopal celebration reminding us that our church is a body of people with rich and varied gifts. The following is taken from these recollections found in “Gifts of the Generations” (St. James’ Church, September 1982).
“Many remembrances of personalities center around the organists and choir members. Among the organists was Charlotte Holt, daughter of the Rev. George Washington Nelson, Rector 1880-1903. Also, Dr. Bromley, organist during the early tenure of Mr. Bowden, organized a boys’ choir made up in part of boys from Stuyvesant School.
Continue reading “History of Saint James’: Organists”
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.
Continue reading “Music Ministry Updates from Jesse Ratcliffe”