Music is an important part of the life of this parish, as we believe the admonition of St. Augustine that “singing is praying twice.” Service of the divine liturgy is the most important thing that we do together as community. Over the years, the choirs of Holy Trinity have included a vested choir of men and boys, a mixed choir of adults, and in the past generation, a children’s choir. As Episcopalians, we have a musical heritage that is one of the world’s richest and most deeply spiritual.
The music ministry at Holy Trinity seeks to enhance worship through a balanced repertoire of traditional hymns, music of the masters from the 16th to the 21st centuries, psalms, and songs of praise and renewal. The service music and hymns, most of which are congregational, come from the 1982 Hymnal of the Episcopal Church, as well as from new compositions and other alternative sources.
The Chancel Choir
Holy Trinity has a great congregational singing tradition. The parish choir of volunteer singers meets weekly for rehearsals to prepare music for worship services. They also sing for special occasions, such as the Festival of Lessons and Carols for Christmas, Christmas Eve, Holy Week services, and occasional services of choral Evensong.
The choir’s repertoire includes music from the great Anglican choral tradition and American music, as well as many contemporary works. There are several different opportunities for involvement from full participation to occasional participation during holy days and concert events. The choir season begins in late September, and rehearses through June.
Adult Bell Choir
This is a group of young people and adults who meet regularly during the school year to prepare special pieces of music on hand bells. The bell choir rehearses on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings and participates in liturgies throughout the year. The ability to read music is not required. For more information contact Suzanne Scibilia.
Junior Bell Choir
Music for Christmas and Easter includes pieces prepared by the junior bell choir. Practices led by Sue Scibilia are right after church services for several week before the holiday.
The Joyful Noise Praise Band plays traditional and contemporary music at the 10:15 a.m. service on the 3rd Sunday of the month. They also prepare special service music throughout the year for special holidays and events. Currently the band leaders Ron Burlette and Ty Warren are looking for a bass player and a drum player. You may call them for more information.
Chime Stand/ Bell Tower
The church is also blessed to have a traditional chime (chimestand) of 10 bells in the bell tower. (Proper nomenclature of the instrument only refers to a carillon as having at least 23 bells; less than that number is referred to as a “chime”).
These days we are blessed to have the music ministry of Ash Pierce, who elegantly plays the chime before services. Visits to the bell tower can be arranged by contacting Ash Pierce.
In addition to the music for various services, Holy Trinity also offers an occasional program of special music events that include choral concerts, organ recitals, choral Evensongs, and praise band concerts.
The church houses a grand, wonderful pipe organ built in 1921 by Casavant Freres, Limitee in St-Hyacinte, Quebec, opus 207. The American Classic Organ Company of Chester, Connecticut performed major repairs to the instrument. Various expansion projects have created an organ of approximately 50 stops across three manuals.
Aside from the Casavant, the church also houses the Zeno Fedeli organ in the chapel. The church’s former music director, Gordon Adams, discovered this instrument lying in a music shop on Via Roma, Naples, Italy. It appears to have been built around 1860 in a town near Assisi. It was sitting unused in a church in Naples for over two decades. It was packed and moved to Philadelphia by the U.S. Navy, later moved to the Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. Work had been done on the instrument by a builder in New York. The school donated the organ to the Church of the Holy Trinity in 1980. In the front of the church, we have a small organ case that held an organ built by the Harry Hall Organ Co., in 1934. This casework likely dates back to an instrument built as early as 1850 for Trinity Parish in Portland, Connecticut. At present, however, it is being repurposed into a home for the praise band equipment.