Choir Handbook St. Thomas Episcopal Church

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1 Choir Handbook St. Thomas Episcopal Church

2 STAFF THE REV. DARREN R. S. ELIN, RECTOR DR. CARLTON MONROE, DIRECTOR OF MUSIC JASON GUNNELL, ORGANIST ENSEMBLES THE ST. THOMAS PARISH CHOIR THE CHORISTERS THE ALLEGRO CHOIR THE JOYFUL NOISE CHORAL SCHOLARS KRISTA CORNISH SCOTT, CHORAL SCHOLAR SARAH KENDALL JACKSON, CHORAL SCHOLAR MICHAEL CIAVAGLIA, CHORAL SCHOLAR ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE THE CINCINNATI BACH ENSEMBLE ROSEMARY RITTER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SONGFEST DOUGLAS PEW, COMPOSER-IN-RESIDENCE Psallam spiritu et mente. I will sing with the spirit and with the understanding also. 1 Corinthians 14:15

3 MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the St. Thomas Music Program is to enrich the worship life of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, to deepen the spiritual experience for its congregation, and to contribute to the cultural life of the church and the area. COMMUNICATIONS Church Office Dr. Monroe x13 Mr. Gunnell x29 Facebook: St. Thomas Choirs (Terrace Park) ENSEMBLES The Parish Choir The St. Thomas Parish Choir consists of adults and teens and sings at the 10:30am service from after Labor Day to Pentecost, as well as special services and events throughout the year. The choir rehearses Wednesday evenings from 7:10 9:00 p.m. Prior to each rehearsal, starting at 6:45pm is an Adult VOICE for LIFE class led by our choral scholars, designed to help singers improve their music and vocal skills. The choir s repertoire includes traditional Anglican works, choral masterworks from all eras, as well as the work of modern composers. Some choral experience is recommended, although the Choral Scholars are able to help and lead less experienced singers. The Choristers are girls and boys ages 7-13 (for boys until their voice changes). Choristers can participate in the VOICE for LIFE program, developed by the Royal School of Church Music, which teaches singing and music skills. Choristers have two options to participate in VFL: Tuesdays, individual appointments can be made with Dr. Monroe 3:30-5:00pm; Wednesdays a group class meets from 5:30-6:00pm. The Chorister rehearsal follows from 6:00 7:00pm The Choristers sing each Sunday with the St. Thomas Parish Choir at the 10:30am service. In addition they combined with the choir for special events throughout the year. Choristers are also encouraged to participate in various summer activities, including RSCM America courses throughout the country and our own Summer Music Camp.

4 The Allegro Choir The Allegro Choir is a new choir for 2012 designed for children in grades K-2. The choir meets on Wednesdays from 4:15-4:45pm and will sing on a few occasions during the year at the 10:30am Sunday Eucharist. Focusing on the enjoyment of music, the choir prepares young singers to enter the Chorister program. The Joyful Noise The Joyful Noise is an enrichment program of the St. Thomas Nursery School. Approximately twice a month all students in the Nursery School will take part in the Joyful Noise class, learning to sing, play, and enjoy music. Joyful Noise borrows from several music education methods including Kodaly, Orff and Musikgarten to create an energetic and fun opportunity to explore music. In addition to singing at Nursery School events, Joyful Noise members are invited to sing at St. Thomas twice a year. WEEKLY REHEARSAL SCHEDULE Tuesday 3:30-5:00pm Wednesday 4:15-4:45pm 5:30-6:00pm 6:00-7:00pm 6:45-7:10pm 7:10-9:00pm Sunday 9:00am 9:30am 9:30am 10:30am 11:45pm VOICE for LIFE instruction (by appt.) Allegro Choir (K-2) VOICE for LIFE class instruction Chorister Rehearsal Adult VOICE for LIFE Parish Choir Chorister warm-up Choristers dismissed to Christian Formation Parish Choir warm-up Choir Service Chorister make-up Rehearsal

5 CALENDAR A complete music calendar can be found at the church website: This Google-based calendar can be imported into your existing calendar, or can be printed from the website. THE ST. THOMAS CHORISTER PROGRAM, RSCM, AND VOICE FOR LIFE Beginning Singer Members of the Allegro Choir start as Beginning Singers. They worked towards completion of the White Level. The focus of this level is on working with others, learning and enjoying singing, and understanding beginning music concepts. Beginning Singers where only a red cassock during services and participate by singing an Introit at the beginning of the service. Novice Once a singer joins the Choristers, they become a Novice. During this learning period, boys and girls become familiar with liturgy and music through instruction and participation in Sunday services. These singers wear the red cassock with the white cotta. The goals of this period are to form appropriate habits and responses necessary for musical leadership, as well as the right spirit and attitude for leading worship. Novices participate in hymn singing and become familiar with the parts of our Anglican liturgy. Novices work towards earning their light blue ribbon. Junior Chorister Junior Choristers continue to develop their musical leadership through regular participation in rehearsal and worship. They participate through hymn and anthem singing, as well as singing parts of the liturgy. Junior Choristers work to develop individual leadership, teamwork within the choir, and further musical knowledge. They participate fully in all aspects of the choir. Junior Choristers work towards the red ribbon. They are also highly encouraged to participate in a national RSCM course during the summer. Novices work towards earning their dark blue ribbon.

6 Senior Chorister Senior Choristers, having earned their dark blue ribbon, represent the highest level of achievement in the St. Thomas Chorister Program. They full participate in all aspects of the choir, and are called to hold significant leadership positions within the choir. Senior Singers serve as mentors for Beginning Singers. They work towards earning the yellow and red ribbons. It is recommended that Senior Choristers participate in a national RSCM course during the summer. ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCES For absences known in advance: please send an to For emergency (last-minute) absences: please text/phone GUIDELINES FOR REHEARSAL 1. Arrive early enough to get a folder, hymnal, pencil and any other music needed for the rehearsal. 2. Turn off cell phones and other electronic devices. 3. No food or drink other than water is permitted during rehearsal. 4. Indicate name and folder number on the top right hand corner of each piece of music. 5. Please make markings in music cleanly and clearly. 6. When receiving a new piece of music, take time to mark measure numbers on every measure. GUIDLELINES FOR SERVICES AND CONCERTS 1. Rehearsal times prior to services means vested, music in place, and ready to sing. Arrive at least ten minutes prior to the indicated rehearsal time in order to be ready. 2. Prepare your folder by transferring any necessary music, bulletins, etc. 3. Avoid leaving valuables in the vesting or choir rooms. 4. Prior to the service please maintain a reverent mood while assembling in the parlor. 5. Following the service, please leave designated music in the Drop Box and replace folders and hymnals.

7 CHILDCARE Childcare can be made available for all activities of the Choir. Please let the church office know in advance if childcare is needed. The St. Thomas childcare facility is for children ages up to four. VOLUNTEERS Each member of the Parish Choir, and each Chorister family is asked to assist the music program by volunteering for some special event during the course of the season. Most jobs are one-time commitments and duties will be fully explained and reimbursed. Feel free to volunteer for a Chorister event even if you don t have children! Below is a list of the various ways you can help our music program: Chorister Socials (Wednesday evenings or Sunday afternoons) Parish Choir Socials and Dinners Hospitality (recognizing birthdays, illness, etc. with a card) Choral Library and Music Office Audio Team (assist with A/V equipment and recordings) Vestment Managers Chorister vesting (Sunday mornings) Chorister snacks (Sunday mornings) Receptions (Bach Vespers, Lessons and Carols, concerts) Please take time to to choose the area where you would like to help, or feel free to suggest other ways you might assist our program. CHOIR PRAYERS The Chorister Prayer Bless, O Lord, us Thy servants, who minister in Thy temple. Grant that what we sing with our lips, we may believe in our hearts, and what we believe in our hearts, we may show forth in our lives. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

8 Prayer for Church Musicians and Artists (from the Book of Common Prayer) O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Psalm 32:2-3 Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp, with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs. O sing him a song that is new, play loudly, with all your skill. Psalm 100:1 O praise him with the sound of the trumpet, praise him with lute and harp. Praise him with timbrel and dance, praise him with strings and pipes. We will meet; and there we may rehearse most obscenely and courageously. Take pains. Be perfect. Adieu. From A Midsummer Night s Dream: Act I, scene 2.

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