The nurturing of faith through music is an integral aspect of spiritual life at the Meeting House. Through music, we affirm the word and sacraments of the church, we foster relationships with God and one another, and we reach out to the community at large.
We recognize the act of music making as a gift from God that unifies, inspires, delights, comforts and challenges us. The music programming is guided by the lectionary readings for the day as well as the liturgical season. Our goals are to make our very best offering to God and to enhance the worship service by taking the message of the day and translating it into the “universal language of mankind” (H. W. Longfellow).
Two mechanical-action pipe organs, a piano, handbells, and various other instruments, support our music-making, and an experienced and talented staff assists in teaching and training the many volunteers who contribute their time and talent to our music program. For information about participating in the music program, contact Samuel Baker or the director listed with each individual choir.
(High School and Adults) leads the 11 o’clock Sunday worship service from September through May. Additional services include Advent Lessons and Carols (both services), Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, Easter Day (both services), and occasional special events. Repertoire focuses on traditional sacred choral music. Thursday evening rehearsals from 7:30 – 9:00 pm begin in September.
(High School and Adults) is a chamber ensemble of eight to twelve auditioned singers who sing on an occasional basis at both Sunday morning services. Repertoire spans 500 years of sacred choral music. Rehearsals are held as needed on Thursday evening from 9:00 to 9:30 am and Saturday morning before a Sunday performance.
(Grades Pre-K through 1) is directed by Sally Laha and meets each Sunday throughout the program year as part of Sunday School from 9:30 until 9:50. This choir is where faith formation and music making come together in fun ways for our youngest choristers. The Cherub Music Group sings occasionally for Sunday morning worship services and at the Christmas Eve Family service.
(Grades 2 through 5) is directed by Amy McCarthy, and Martha Beall, and meets each Sunday throughout the program year as part of Sunday School from 9:30 until 9:50. This choir begins to explore liturgy, hymnody, and choral singing in ways that relate to grade-school choristers. The Children’s Music Group sings occasionally for Sunday morning worship services and at the Christmas Eve family service.
(Grades 6 through 12) is a choir of instruments and voices that perform contemporary Christian music. Directed by Mary Pratt, this musical ensemble meets September-November and January-March on Sunday afternoons as part of Youth Fellowship. The Youth Band leads worship on Youth Sunday and occasionally for summer evening worship services. The Youth Band also performs for special events.
(All Ages) consists of solos, duets, and ensembles (vocal and instrumental) by members of the congregation and guests for the one Sunday morning service at 10 o’clock during summer months. To participate, contact Mr. Baker.
(All Ages) are ecumenical sung and silent participatory prayer services designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song and silence. Short chants, repeated again and again, give these services a meditative character. By using just a few words, the chants express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. Taizé services are held as announced.
Concerts with a Cause
Our musical concert series, Concerts with a Cause, presents a varied array of vocal and instrumental artists on selected Sundays at three o’clock. No admission is charged and concert expenses are paid by the Meeting House. Receipts from a free-will offering are then donate to a designated charitable organization. Concerts with a Cause seeks to advance evangelism, heighten awareness of our congregation and its outreach programs within our neighborhood, and contribute to the musical fabric of our community at large.
Recent Concerts with a Cause beneficiaries include The Alexandria Tutoring Consortium, ALIVE! (ALexandrians In Volved Ecumenically), Friends of Guest House, Faith Ministry (Ministerio de Fe), Katrina Recovery, support programs in Kenya, Pakistan, and Haiti, and the Old Presbyterian Meeting House’s own Family to Family.