Music Ministries

“Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing…”

(from John Wesley’s “Directions for Singing” in Select Hymns, 1761.)

Great care is taken by our worship leaders to provide our congregation with opportunities to engage with the Divine through a variety of musical offerings in worship. Congregational singing of a diverse repertoire of hymns and songs is central to our corporate worship and is a way in which we remain connected to our Wesleyan heritage.

There are no auditions to participate in the music ministries of this church, and we welcome all who love music to join us in the joy of making music together. We strive for excellence in all our musical offerings so that we might glorify God together in worship.

Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir is open to youth and adults. The choir leads the congregation in worship during the 10:30 a.m. service each Sunday in addition to presenting a number of special programs throughout the academic year. Our repertoire is drawn from a wide range of periods, styles, languages, and cultures, with careful attention to how the texts we sing amplify or augment the liturgy of the day.

Rehearsals: Wednesdays 7:30-9:00 p.m. and Sundays 10:00-10:25 a.m.

Joyful Noise Handbell Choir

Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!

The adult handbell choir rehearses Sunday evenings from 7:15-8:15 p.m during the academic year, September-May. This ensemble presents music in worship services about six times per year, including Easter and the Lessons and Carols service near Christmas. The Handbell Choir is open to persons of varying musical abilities and ages high school and up. A full year commitment is not necessary; we work on a six-week rotation. Come play for six weeks, and if your schedule gets busy, take a break for six weeks. No prior experience with handbells is required to join, but experience reading musical notation is helpful. Not sure about your music reading skills, but still want to make a Joyful Noise? We’re happy to help get you started! Come join us for fun, fellowship, and music making!

Choral Scholars

The Choral Scholars are current students of music, both graduate and undergraduate. This group of ten musicians sings as part of the Chancel Choir during the weekly 10:30 a.m. worship services throughout the academic year. They also frequently sing communion anthems as a chamber ensemble, and serve as soloists in both the 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. worship services. They are an important part of our community.


St. John’s Organ

A Little History…

January 1983-1984: Long-Range Planning Committee recommended the renovation of the sanctuary and repair of the organ.

May 1989: “A Celebration of Ascension” requiem service raised questions about the reliability of the pipe organ installed in 1969. Dean James G. Allen began a campaign to replace the organ which led to discussions of sanctuary renovation.

February 1990: Administrative Council appointed a special committee to study the organ project and interview architects to design a new sanctuary.

Spring 1990: Various organ builders visited Saint John’s.

July 1990: Richard Boner, Austin acoustician analyzed Saint John’s acoustical problems. Holtkamp Organ Company was recommended as builder for project. Joe McKay was contracted as architect.

August 3, 1990: McKay, Holtkamp and Boner met with the special committee and members of the Administrative Council.

September 1990: Various all-church information and discussion meetings. Building Committee assumed steering of project.

October 21, 1990: renovation of Sanctuary and purchase of the Holtkamp approved in Church Conference.

January 20, 1991: Financial plan approved in Church Conference.

February 13, 1991: Ash Wednesday, last service in old sanctuary.

February 14, 1991: Knox, gailey & Meador, general contractor, began demolition.

May 19, 1991: Pentecost, first service in the renovated sanctuary.

May 2, 1991: Holtkamp Organ Company began installation.

June 30, 1991: Independence Sunday, first service with the Memorial Organ.

The Holtkamp Organ Company is the oldest pipe organ firm currently active in the United States, having begun as G.F. Votteler and Company in 1855 and operated continuously since that time. Through two generations of Vottelers and four generations of Holtkamps this small Cleveland firm has been known for high quality in both workmanship and tonal integrity.

The St. John’s Memorial Organ was designed specifically for the church by organist Dr. Wayne Hobbs, Walter Holtkamp, Jr., president of the company and his son, F. Christian Holtkamp. Installation was headed by crew chief and master carpenter, John York; the instrument was voiced by Michael Shofar. It has 2,357 individual pipes (45 ranks), 33 stops, three manuals (keyboards), mechanical key action, electric stop action and solid state combination action. Both the swell and the choir are under expression. It was the cover instrument for the September, 1991 issue of The American Organist.