I love the way the King James puts Psalm 66:2.
“Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.”
Over here in the NEPC Music department, we want to make His praise glorious and we feel that music is one of the best gifts God has given us to worship Him. Not all worship involves music, but music is certainly an integral part of worshiping our Lord.
Primarily responsible to lead in traditional worship services, we have 3 fantastic groups that work hard every year to make His praise glorious. The Chancel Choir, the Celebration Orchestra, and the Joyful Bells.
The Chancel Choir is a volunteer choir that leads in traditional worship weekly. We also prepare two major productions every year for the Christmas and Easter seasons which are often called “cantatas.” Cantata simply means “sung.” Often, cantatas contain a narrative or dramatic element as well. We love to tell the story of Jesus through music during these seasonal productions.
Check out one of the excellent pieces we’ll be sharing during this year’s Christmas Cantata, arranged by modern choral and church music composer, Dan Forrest (he’s one of our favorites!).
This guy is obviously reaching both young and old with his music, too.
Here’s another great performance of that piece:
If you are interested in being a part of the choir, there are two ways you can participate.
- The choir sings weekly in traditional service. We lead the hymns and responses and share a special choir anthem. We rehearse weekly on Wednesday nights at 7:30 for this.
- As we prepare our seasonal productions, you are invited to be a part of a handful of abbreviated rehearsals just a couple months prior to the event. We slowly increase the time spent in rehearsals on the cantata as the date draws closer. Be on the lookout for this special rehearsal schedule.
In either instance, you don’t have to formally audition, but basic pitch matching skills and a love for leading the people of God in worship are essential. Simply come visit a rehearsal or two and then speak with the Choir Director. We would love to see some fresh faces.
The Celebration Orchestra is a volunteer orchestra that leads weekly in traditional worship. We play the hymns and responses and often accompany the choir for anthems. The orchestra also has the privilege of accompanying both of our major seasonal productions at Christmas and Easter. We are looking for new orchestra members as well. Specifically, we have space for clarinets, trombones, tuba, saxophone, and french horn, as well as strings. If you have high school or college experience and would like to plug in, come talk to us!
The Joyful Bells is a volunteer handbell choir that leads regularly in traditional worship. Our bell ringers are all musicians who read music and have some of the fundamentals under their belts already. If you have musical experience and are interested to check this group out, please contact Maria Currey and arrange to visit a rehearsal. We’ll even teach you how to ring!
For more about all of our music ensembles, visit nepresbyterian.org/music.
Jeremy Buzzard, Director of Music Ministries
Check out the songs we’ll be singing in Contemporary Worship (11:15am) this week: