Music at St. Matthew's Church is a core element of our worship service. Indeed, at our church, music is a ministry of its own. Music enlivens our religious experience and provides an important spiritual dimension to the liturgy.
We are most fortunate to have as our Music Director Anthony Newman, who is a world-renowned organist and harpsichord player. Our choir is composed largely of professional singers, with a few talented volunteer members. Dr. Newman accompanies the choir and plays additional organ pieces, including preludes and postludes.
At each of our Sunday services, music is an integral part of the service, with different offerings reflective of the different styles of the services.
8:00 a.m. Service: This service is shorter than the 10:00 a.m. service. Dr. Newman plays organ pieces and our professional mezzo-soprano singer, Trish Hussey, performs a solo piece.
10:00 a.m. Service: This is a traditional service, with Dr. Newman and the choir performing before and during the service. Music at this worship service includes choir anthems, organ interludes and hymns from the Episcopal Hymnal. It highlights the glorious voices of our choristers, performing together and as soloists, the virtuoso talents of Dr. Newman, and the joy of community as parishioners join in singing the hymns.
The choir's repertoire includes works by Bach, Beethoven, Gounod, Handel, Mozart, Purcell and works composed by Dr. Newman himself. The professional quality of the music and depth of the repertoire are widely praised by parishioners and attract many new people to our church. Two services (before Christmas and Easter) are almost entirely musical, with the choir singing key sections of Handel's Messiah.
5:00 p.m. Service: On most Sundays throughout the liturgical season, music played at this 5 p.m. Come As You Are Service mirrors the more casual and contemporary nature of the service than the services celebrated earlier in the day.
This music alternates between classical piano -- most often curated and performed by Dr. Newman, and more contemporary singer/songwriter music as performed by St. Matthew's parishioner Mark Weigel. Dr. Newman's mastery of music, with a special emphasis on the Baroque period, and Mr. Weigel's lifelong love and knowledge of the singer/songwriter genre mostly from the early 70's to the present both provide a perfect backdrop for the contemplative and intimate character of this service.
Sprinkled throughout the liturgical year, there are special services when Rev. Pike follows the less-well known orders of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer and other Episcopal liturgical rites, including services celebrating Celtic Evensong, All Hallows' Eve, Advent, Epiphany and Pentecost. At these services, Mr. Weigel draws on his repertoire of traditonal music as well more contemporary offerings to create a mood to match the special theme of each service.