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Christ Church Music Update

The global pandemic has been a source of disruption and heartbreak for millions of people all over the world. One community that has been particularly affected, however, is the musical world and specifically choral singers. This is because singing is one of the most effective ways of spreading one’s germs and choirs typically stand or sit very near each other to better hear each other. 

Therefore, choirs of all ages and in all walks of life — school, community, professional, and church choirs alike — have had to take a temporary hiatus, and have been exploring some new ways to stick together as a group while keeping their members safe. Here at Christ Church, our last rehearsal before the pause was on March 11, and while we keenly miss making music with each other in the traditional ways, we have continued to support the worship of Christ Church of the Ascension in these new and unprecedented times.

Music for Online Worship

Worship has looked different for the past few months. However, the sounds of CCA’s pipe organ, piano, and choir have still been part of our worship. Our organist, Joel Morehouse, and I continue to record new Psalms, hymns, and other music for our online worship. Our choir has also contributed a number of ‘virtual hymns’. You may have already heard about the process already: the choir members record their voices individually, and I layer it together using software to create a group sound. It is no substitute for the real experience, but it is what we are able to do for the time being.

CCA’s Choir Members

Like many ministries, our choir has grown closely together over the years, and while traditional rehearsals are not possible, we continue to meet weekly on Zoom. Sometimes we listen to music or even rehearse music, but sometimes we simply share news and prayer requests, supporting each other when we can. We have even held birthday parades (safely distanced in our cars) for two members with milestone birthdays over the summer!

Looking Ahead. Two exciting new events are on the horizon for the music program at CCA. 

1 – Our first video virtual choir will be premiered at the Diocesan memorial service at 7:00 pm on September 29. It is a new choral work, based on a classic Schubert piano piece, that I composed for our choir during these challenging times. (https://azdiocese.org/digital_faith/events/3184321)

Joel Morehouse records in the evening light this August for our upcoming virtual choir video.

2 – I will be teaching an online class on Sacred Music at 6 pm on Wednesday nights in October. This four-part series will discuss the history of Sacred Music and what it means in our own lives today. I hope to see you there!

Join us on Wednesday nights at 6 pm
in October!
ZOOM Meeting ID# 932 1860 8110,
password 4015
October 7: Why Sacred Music?
October 14 & 21: Favorites, parts 1 & 2
October 28: What makes music sacred?

Thank you to everyone who has continued to support Christ Church and the music program through these unprecedented times. Though the pause has been longer than anyone anticipated, your continued support means that music continues to be part of our worship, and that in-person choir will be able to resume as soon as possible. It was a beautiful, encouraging experience to be in-person in our own sanctuary for church this Sunday. We will have to wait a bit longer to sing together, but we are on the road back!

Sincerely yours,

Tom Peterson

Music Director

Messiah, Part I – Concert on December 1, 2019