Music at St. Paul’s

For current and prospective new choir members, please note summer choir rehearsals (beginning May 26) will take place on Sunday mornings from 8:45 – 9:45 immediately preceding the 10:00 service. Wednesday evening rehearsals are suspended until after Labor Day so our families may also fully enjoy the beauty of our Crystal Coast.  If you are visiting Beaufort this summer and wish to sing in the St. Paul’s choir, you are welcome to join us – simply meet us in the rehearsal room at 8:45. If you would drop me an email in advance [music@stpaulsbeaufort.org] I will send you the music to preview.   

   Linda Laughton – Music Director    music@stpaulsbeaufort.com

Music Ministry at St. Paul’s Beaufort.  The Music Ministry at St. Paul’s supports the Sunday 10:45am liturgy (10:00am during the summer), other high feast days during the year, and at Christmas and Holy Week with an organist/choir director, an adult choir, a children’s choir, a youth choir and a handbell choir. The sanctuary organ is a 3-manual Allen Quantum Renaissance model 350. The adult and youth choirs are vested in a traditional Anglican black or red choir cassock with white cotta. The children’s choir wears a blue cassock with white cotta.  

    Adult Choir.  The Adult Choir consists of approximately a dozen volunteer singers with capacity for 24 or more. Professional vocalists and musicians are hired as needed to assist the choir for occasional services. The choir meets in the rehearsal room each week during the school year on Wednesdays from 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm, and Sunday mornings from 9:50 to 10:30 preceding the 10:45 service; and during the summers on Sunday mornings from 8:45 to 9:45 preceding the 10:00 service. There are no Wednesday rehearsals during the summer.

    The liturgy follows the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The choir is responsible each week for singing a hymn during the procession, a Gloria or Kyrie or Trisagion, a psalm, a gospel acclamation and verse or a sequence hymn, a choral anthem at the offertory, a presentation hymn, the Sanctus and Fraction Anthem during the Eucharistic prayer, hymns at the communion, and a post-communion or recessional hymn. Occasionally, the choir will also sing a choral introit before the beginning of the service, or a choral benediction at the end of the service. Hymns are sung primarily from The Hymnal 1982 and its supplements, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “Wonder, Love and Praise.” Occasionally, hymns are sung from other sources and reproduced in accordance with St. Paul’s church copyright license agreement with OneLicense.net.

    St. Paul’s Choir is an associate member of The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) whose mission is to assist churches throughout the world in maintaining high quality standards in their music programs. St. Paul’s uses RSCM planning resources in selecting its choral music. St. Paul’s also utilizes the RSCM choir training method, VOICE FOR LIFE (VFL), as an independent study program which is offered to any choir member of any age willing to put in the extra time required outside of weekly choir rehearsals. VFL is a 5-level course with ribbons and certificates available at the completion of each level.  The ribbons are an attractive incentive for the children and youth singers as they may be worn over the choir cotta during performance.

    Children and Youth Choirs.  All children and youth at St. Paul’s gain choral experience in brief sessions during their normally scheduled Sunday Christian Formation classes. This experience allows them to learn at least two choral anthems per school year, one performed during the Nativity Pageant on Christmas Eve and the other on Easter Sunday or Pentecost.  

    Handbell Choir.  The Handbell Choir rings a partial 2-octave set of John Taylor handbells manufactured at Taylor’s Bell Foundry in Loughborough, England. The “Grace Handbells” were a gift to the church from a parishioner, and a portion of the set dates back to the early 1800s. The bells were refurbished in February, 2019 thanks to the generosity of another parishioner, and our newly formed bell choir meets at a mutually agreeable time to practice the intricate skills of proper English handbell ringing technique. The St. Paul’s Handbell Choir is a member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. Using only four to eight bells, the handbell choir rings the psalm on Sundays when a plainsong tone is sung. Our newest addition to the music ministry, the Handbell Choir is intent upon developing its repertoire and hopes to very quickly add the six missing bells to complete the 2-octave set.

    How to share your music gifts at St. Paul’s.  All St. Paul’s choirs welcome new members with open arms and loving hearts. Contact Linda Laughton, Director of Music at music@stpaulsbeaufort.org

Monetary gifts to the Music Ministry discretionary fund are always welcome.