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Monday, August 31, 2015


O clap your hands, all ye people; shout to God with the voice of triumph Psalm 47

What a great joy it is to worship at St. Luke’s and for us in the music program that joy seems to multiply as we sing God’s praises. We feel supported and encouraged by our parish family in so many ways: Chorister bake sale support, lovely comments, the purchase of choir CDs, donations to the music department and yes, by clapping after we sing.

Over the past year, there has been much discussion about clapping after the choir anthem. This habit seems to have increased over the past couple of years. Some people think it may have started with the singing by the Choristers. It seems appropriate to encourage the children with clapping. Sometimes a particular dramatic ending to a piece of music and the silence afterwards makes it nearly impossible not to clap. And sometimes it is simply a natural response to being stirred by the spirit. These are all reasons why we clap. And they are all good reasons.

I’ve been asked to address this issue and it’s a tricky one. While I would never want to say, “please do not clap after our anthems”, there does seem to be a consensus among the choir and soloists that clapping can break the mood or tone set by the music and it can also distract us, the musicians, from our musical offering. The silence following the end of a piece of music can be profound and the church setting is one of the rare places where there could be an accepted silence after a glorious musical ending.

I would like to propose, therefore, that we practice allowing the quiet joy of the musical moment to seep into our souls and our sanctuary as the service continues with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I know that I speak for all the choir and soloists when I say that we are grateful for the opportunity to glorify God with the gift of music and to share that music with our very special church family.
Music Program Opportunities

Would you like to participate in our music program but cannot commit to weekly choir rehearsals? There are additional opportunities in our expanding program:

 Perform on an instrument for the prelude, communion, postlude or choir accompaniment
 Prepare a solo or small ensemble piece for communion
 Join the choir for “big” Sundays – Priest Installation, Christmas, Easter (Hallelujah Chorus 2016)
 Sing for “small” services – Taize, Evensong, Ash Wednesday, and Maundy Thursday
 Join the newly formed St. Luke’s Women’s Choir – flexible rehearsals, sing 3-4 times during year.
 Raise your voice with the choirs on Easter morning by singing The Hallelujah Chorus by Handel

Choir Information
Chancel Choir:
Open to anyone grade 9th to adult
First rehearsal -Wednesday, Sept. 9th – 7:00-8:30p.m. Meet in the choir room No experience necessary. Summer choir potluck: Aug. 25th 5:30 p.m. (contact Linda for more information)
St. Luke’s Choristers:
(ages 4-8th grade)
First rehearsal-Wednesday, Sept. 9th – 6:00-6:45 p.m. Meet in the choir room directly below the church sanctuary. Jr. Choristers – Director, Melissa Cotter
Ages 4 through 1st grade.
Sr. Choristers – Director, Linda Johnson Assistant Director, Margaret Hannigan