MINISTRY in MUSIC
In the Anglican tradition, music is a central part of worship, as it has been with God's people since the days of the Psalmist David. At Trinity, there is room for much diversity in musical expressions of Christian worship, recognizing that what inspires one person may not inspire another. This makes variety very important in our parish. The Music Ministry at Trinity is under the direction of Jon Gates, who has served our parish full-time since 2007.
We recognize and welcome the contributions of musicians and singers of all ages and seek to provide an opportunity for anyone to participate, regardless of their level of musical skill. Our music does reflect the varied traditions of the Episcopal Church, old and new. There is a strong emphasis on quality in an environment of joy and fellowship. Above all, we recognize that the music of the Church is to be offered as an act of Worship, and all musical selections are chosen to be appropriate to the liturgical calendar.
The Trinity Chancel Choir leads worship and performs weekly during the 11:15 AM Sunday service. Membership in the Chancel Choir is open to adults and high school students, most of whom have some musical training combined with substantial experience. This SATB ensemble performs a wide range of musical styles, but specializes in traditional sacred choral literature accompanied by our Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. Preparation includes a two-hour rehearsal each Wednesday evening and a 40-minute rehearsal each Sunday morning immediately before Worship. The chancel choir also sings for all major Feast Days, holidays and other special occasions.
The Parish Choir (9 AM Sunday Service) is staffed by talented singers who prepare and present psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs reflecting the nature and flavor of a less formal, modern day musical service of worship. This blend includes traditional choral literature as well as a wide range of gospel spirituals and contemporary praise music. Choristers rehearse on the first and third Thursday evening of each month. The group is usually accompanied by piano and/or guitar and joins forces with the Chancel Choir on occasion. Anyone is welcome to join regardless of ability; all that's required is a desire to sing and the commitment to participate fully.
Another of Trinity's musical ensembles is the Trinity Ringers, who make use of a three-octave set of Schulmurich cast-bronze English handbells. In the tradition of English handbell ringing, advanced musical techniques are employed, which produce unique sounds that are joyful and harmonically transparent. A very intricate well-choreographed "team sport", being a part of the Trinity Ringers is much more than merely ringing a bell. Membership is open to beginners, intermediate, and advanced and all of our music is custom tailored to meet the specific abilities and skills of each individual ringer. This group rehearses each Wednesday at 5 PM, and typically performs on the fourth Sunday of each month at both the 9 and 11:15 service.
Members of the Children's Choir are drawn from those who participate regularly in Children's Church. This group sings at the 9:00 AM service the second Sunday of each month during the choir season.
For information on joining a choir, please contact our Music Director, Jon Gates. Jon holds office hours by appointment on Tuesdays 9 - 12PM and 1 - 4PM; Wednesdays 11:30 - 4 PM; and Thursdays 9 - 12 PM.
Instrumental and Vocal Solos
Although congregational singing led by organ and choir forms the foundation of our worship music, instrumental and vocal soloists participate regularly in our worship, offering selections as preludes, postludes, and music at communion as well as accompaniment to choir anthems and hymns.
Annual Organ Concert
Each fall, Trinity hosts an annual organ concert which has featured world renowned organists Peter Richard Conte, Marilyn Keiser, Frederick Swann, Ken Cowan, Olivier Latry, Jane Parker-Smith, Erik Suter and Janette Fishell. The annual concert is a primary way of funding the upkeep of our historic instrument and any financial support is greatly appreciated in maintaining our organ. Become a sponsor today and be sure to specify that your donation is for the Organ Concert.
Archangel - $500 sponsorship
Angel - $250 sponsorship
Saint - $150 sponsorship
Seraphim - $100 sponsorship
Cherubim - $50 sponsorship
Aeolian-Skinner Opus Organ 1482
Trinity's organ is a 3 manual, 91 rank Aeolian-Skinner (Opus 1482) hybrid pipe and digital organ. It was installed in 1967 and restored in 1999. The organ has a magnificent full sound and versatile color than can be used for many styles of play from French to Baroque.
The History of Organs at Trinity
Historical records indicate that Trinity Church has had an organ since at least 1857 when an organ built by Henry Erben of New York was installed. Earlier organs probably existed at Trinity, but nothing is known about them. The organ was taken down for construction in 1902 and rebuilt afterwards, adding a rank of 8' diapason pipes. Further details of this instrument are unknown.
In the fall of 1914, a new Austin Organ of three manuals and 22 ranks, Opus 504, was installed as a memorial to Junius T. Smith, given by his wife, Laura W. Smith. It served well for 53 years, but termites, water damage and changing musical tastes finally rendered it unfit for further use, and in 1965 an organ committee was appointed by the Vestry to research and recommend a new organ.
The organ committee determined that the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Massachusetts, made the finest organs at the time and recommended them as the builder. Aeolian-Skinner built outstanding organs for the Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City; Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; The Riverside Church, St. Thomas Church, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, all in New York. After a congregational vote, a three manual organ of 41 ranks (2,349 pipes) was ordered in the summer of 1966. The new organ was installed in the the fall of 1967 and dedicated on November 5, 1967. It was enjoyed by many visitors as well as our own congregation. However, after thirty years of use and Florida humidity the instrument showed signs of wear and extensive repairs needed to be made. The organ was partially restored during the 1990's. As part of the restoration, the organ was cleaned, the console restored, and several sets of pipes rebuilt and replaced. At that time a number of artificial (digital) voices were also added.