Jul 19, 2023
St Mark's Episcopal Choir is on tour in the United Kingdom this week, singing at a couple of major churches while the regular choir is on summer...
St. Mark’s enjoys a great tradition of music in worship and in concert. Music exists to inspire the congregation and is an essential feature of Episcopal liturgy. Everyone has a musical role in the liturgy which includes the singing of service music and hymns by the congregation, anthems and psalms sung by the choir, the clergy chanting the Sursum Corda during the Holy Eucharist, and the voluntaries performed on the Austin-Kegg pipe organ.
People are involved in St. Mark’s choirs for similar reasons they attend church, they are ultimately seeking community. Community is singing, and singing is community. Music-making is greater than ourselves, and the power of music-making in a church choir not only provides musical enrichment, but it also serves as Christian formation and spiritual development. Our choirs include children and youth of all ages, adult volunteers, staff singers, and choral scholars (high school and college students who commit to spending a year of musical formation in the St. Mark’s music program). Together they provide music for the many services that are offered throughout the year.
Additionally, we invite the San Antonio community to experience the beauty of worship and creativity through the Music from St. Mark’s offerings. These programs, free to all with complimentary parking, provide musical outreach to the San Antonio community by experiencing local and world-class musicians due to the generous support of the St. Cecilia Guild. If you are interested in the music program, please contact Director of Music, Jon Johnson.
The St. Mark's Choir is comprised of approximately 40 adult and youth volunteers, 8 staff singers, and 5 choral scholars. The St. Mark’s Choir sings at the 11.15am service each Sunday during the program year, September – May. The repertoire offered spans centuries from chant and Tudor motets to traditional Anglican cathedral repertoire and new compositions by living composers. In addition to singing Sunday morning services, the choir sings at Choral Evensong, the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, Requiem Concert, Holy Week, and High Feast Days. Regular rehearsals are on Thursday evenings from 6.30-8.45pm, and Sundays at 10:20 am in the choir room. We welcome new singers at any time of the year by a brief audition and meeting. If you read music, sight-read decently, have experience singing in a choir, and would like to know more about joining the St. Mark’s Choir, please contact Director of Music, Jon Johnson, to set up an appointment.
Entry into the Treble Choir is through a brief audition and is a continuation of the musical skills gained as a Chorister. This choir is committed to the more rigorous demands of singing anthems and larger choral works throughout the year. In addition to singing on Sunday mornings, the Treble Choir regularly joins the St. Mark’s Choir to sing Choral Evensong, the annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols, and other musical offerings during the academic year. The Treble Choir rehearses each Sunday at 8:15 am and sing at the 9:00 am service, September - May. To find out more information, contact Director of Music, Jon Johnson.
The Chorister program is an educational opportunity for children that integrates musical training and Christian formation. These choirs are open to boys and girls, grades K-12, and are joined by St. Mark’s staff singers to provide music for the 9.00 am worship service throughout the program year. These children learn about liturgy and the seasons of the church year as they rehearse service music, hymns, and anthems. Children involved in a choir learn and develop in their role as leaders in worship, being part of a team, building self-confidence, and mature in their musical skills and formation. All choirs are affiliated and based on the Royal School of Church Music America (RSCMA) model, utilizing A Young Singer’s Journey as part of the training curriculum. Wednesday rehearsals and RSCMA training are held September – May on the 3rd floor. To find out more information, contact Director of Music, Jon Johnson.
Choristers of all ages work on music theory, aural skills, and vocal development during this time. Volunteers are helpful and snacks are provided.
The Choristers (grades 2-6, led by David Lim) program builds on the foundation nurtured in Novice Choir. Choristers are introduced to rhythmic and melodic elements in A Young Singer’s Journey curriculum where they learn to read and notate music. Jr. Choristers also learn about proper breathing techniques, singer posture, and are introduced to sacred choral music through the hymnal and anthems. They become a vital part of the 9.00am Sunday morning church service where they wear choir vestments, process, and lead the congregation in worship. No prior experience is necessary, just a willingness to learn and participate. The Choristers rehearse each Sunday at 8:15 am and sing at the 9:00 am service, September - May. To find out more information, contact Assistant Director of Music, David Lim.
The Novices Choir (grades K-2, led by Becca Morgan) curriculum focuses on vocal exploration to singing voice and movement to explore pulse and rhythms. Vocal and rhythmic development are nurtured through children’s choir repertoire, singing games, and movement activities. All humans are musical and it is through practice that we learn to sing and dance. The Novices rehearse on Wednesdays, 5:00 - 5:45pm. They wear choir vestments and will sing during the 9:00am worship service on selected Sundays, September - May. To find out more information, contact Children’s Music Assistant, Becca Morgan.