The Music Ministry of Congregational Church enhances and develops the biblical word of God’s teachings through choral and instrumental music in worship services throughout the liturgical year. Ephesians 5:19-20: ‘Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
Thomas Aquinas wrote: "A hymn is the praise of God with song; a song is the exultation of the mind dwelling on eternal things, bursting forth in the voice."
The Chancel Choir consists of singers (church members/non-members), who lead the congregation in the singing of the Sunday morning hymns and who prepare specific choir service music selections (Introit, Prayer response, and Choral Benediction response) and anthems.
CHANCEL CHOIR SCHEDULE (September – May)
Rehearsals: Wednesday 7:00 pm (choir room) & Sunday 9:30 am (sanctuary chancel)
The Handbell Choir, comprised of bell ringers who read music, ring on Sunday mornings when scheduled throughout the year. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Ltd., London, England, handbells were a gift from Rachel Jackson Bunte, who acquired the original 29 (twenty-nine) bells from Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA in 1983. The 29 bells were returned to England with an order from Congregational Church to purchase another 10 new bells, which completed the 3 (three) octave set. The Jeffers Handbell Supply, Inc., Irmo, SC refurbished the handbells in 1999 and again in 2014.
HANDBELL CHOIR SCHEDULE (September – May)
Rehearsals: Wednesday 4:30-5:30 pm (when scheduled – choir room)
The original 1908 tracker action organ, a gift from Charles E. Erskine, was installed and built by the Felgemaker Organ Company, a manufacturer of pipe organs based out of Erie, PA in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The motor and blower, patented and manufactured in the early 1900’s before the organ’s installation, operates the instrument today! In 1958 the organ was renovated and enlarged by Schlicker Organ Co., Inc., Buffalo, NY, a gift from Carroll Pickens Rogers and Susan Erskine Rogers in memory of Charles E. Erskine. In 1978 the instrument’s conversion from tracker to electro-pneumatic was completed by Schlicker, as well.
The beautiful Antiphonal Organ located on the front, street-side wall of the sanctuary was a grand addition built by Casavant Frères, Quebec, Canada in 1986.
To date the final stage of the 30 rank organ’s refurbishing and renovations was completed in 2011 by the John Dower Organ Co. (now Lincoln Pipe Organs, Inc.) Lincolnton, NC. The chancel area of the sanctuary was reconfigured in an architectural design, which transformed the split chancel to a choral, u-shaped design, replacing the church pews with choir chairs. The new organ console was built and installed on the main level of the chancel, movable and adaptable for worship services, recitals, weddings, special occasions and church events. The Great Organ was removed from the organ chamber (the Swell Organ and pedal division remain in the chamber) and rebuilt on the front chancel wall, opposite wall of the Antiphonal Organ. What a magnificent mirror image reflection of stained glass windows and organ pipe.