The early service (8 a.m.) on Sunday mornings generally contains no music or singing with the exception of Easter Day. The later Sunday morning service (10:15 a.m. during the program year) always includes music with hymns and other music for the congregation to sing. During the program year our choir offers a special Offertory anthem and often helps lead the singing of psalms and other parts of the service. All voices and levels of singing proficiency are welcome in the choir, and if you can’t read music, we’ll teach you! Joining the choir is a volunteer ministry that provides a way to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through song. Rehearsal is conveniently scheduled on Sunday mornings between the two services, with additional rehearsals scheduled before Holy Week and Christmas.
Many of the selections used in worship are from The Hymnal 1982, the official hymnbook of the Episcopal Church, which is a treasure-trove of hymns used by Christians over the centuries. Other appropriate sources are utilized including the best of contemporary worship music and styles. Our approach is to not offer all of one type or another, but to blend together the different styles of music that speak to the diverse musical tastes of those who worship with us.
St. James’ Church was blessed with a memorial gift of an Ahlborn-Galanti digital electronic organ that offers a realistic reproduction of the sound that is generated by a traditional pipe organ. Located in the balcony at the back of the church, the instrument offers the additional features of non-organ accompaniments such as piano and harpsichord, as well as a variety of other sounds including brass, woodwind, and percussion. It can also be programmed to provide music when the organist is not at the keyboard via a recording feature.
Most recently, the church was also blessed with another memorial gift of a Steinway-designed upright piano. The Director of Music often plays both the piano as well as the organ during worship.
At special times during the year additional instrumentalists might be used, such us violin, cello, trumpet, clarinet, flute, and French horn.